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June 15, 2009

Lovefilm, love private equity?

British mail order DVD rental company Lovefilm is in talks with private equity firms including KKR and Silver Lake Partners about buying out existing shareholders and providing support for expansion, the Financial Times reports, citing people with direct knowledge of the strategy.

Elsewhere in the media:
* Bain Capital and PAI Partners have both made offers for about 30 percent of Italian eyewear maker Safilo Group and the potential deal might also include an option to acquire a majority holding at a later date, the FT reports.

* Winkworth, the London estate agency, plans to float on the Alternative Investment Market in the autumn, the Times says.

* Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the world’s largest brewer, is considering divesting its central European operations involving 11 breweries in seven countries, reckons Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

* Spain’s Santander is targeting bank acquisitions in the United States in the next five years, its chief executive was quoted as saying in Expansion.

* Egypt’s market regulator is reviewing a complaint submitted by France Telecom about the rejection of its bid for buying out minority shareholdings in Mobinil, Al Masry Al Youm says.

* Irish bottle-making company Ardagh Glass will try to sell 300 million euros in new bonds this week to repay bank debt, says the FT.

* TV production company Endemol is in talks to join a consortium planning to invest in Irish sports broadcaster Setanta, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

* Britain is considering selling nationalised lender Northern Rock to Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the Sunday Express reported.

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