Private equity correspondent
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Sep 23, 2011

Investors reject knock-down offers for Cognetas

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Private equity firms hoping to
pick up the entire portfolio of embattled rival Cognetas for a
cut-down price are being knocked back by the firm’s investors,
resistant to losing money in a fire sale of assets.

Key investors in the private equity firm that spun out of
listed firm Electra in 2005 received an approach from rival
group Charterhouse a couple of months ago, people
familiar with the situation said.

Sep 22, 2011

Buyout deals slump in turbulent financing markets

LONDON/NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Tough financing
markets and market turbulence are causing sellers to shelve
deals mid-auction or postpone sales, drying up private equity
dealmaking with little hope of recovery any time soon.

In recent weeks, French retail group PPR postponed the sale
of its catalogue business Redcats, and industrial company
Schneider Electric SA (SCHN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has delayed the roughly $1.4
billion sale of U.S. subsidiary Custom Sensors & Technologies,
according to people familiar with the matter. [ID:nL5E7KJ3D5]
[ID:nS1E78I052]

Sep 20, 2011

PPR shelves Redcats catalogues sale

LONDON (Reuters) – French retail group PPR (PRTP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) said it has postponed the sale of its catalogues business Redcats, as people familiar with the process said bids were expected to come in well below its 1.5 billion euro (1.3 billion pounds) reserve price.

The deal is the latest in a spate of auction processes to be postponed or shelved due to frozen financing markets, especially for private equity firms, and worsening outlooks for companies.

Sep 19, 2011

PPR shelves Redcats catalogues sale -sources

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – French retail group PPR
said it has postponed the sale of its catalogues
business Redcats, as people familiar with the process said bids
were expected to come in well below its 1.5 billion euro ($2.1
billion) reserve price.

The deal is the latest in a spate of auction processes to be
postponed or shelved due to frozen financing markets, especially
for private equity firms, and worsening outlooks for companies.

Sep 13, 2011

CVC eyes Orange Switzerland bid – sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity group CVC is considering a bid for Orange Switzerland despite resistance from seller France Telecom to let it into the auction for Switzerland’s third-largest mobile phone company, four people familiar with the situation said.

Detailed sales information will be sent to interested parties very shortly, people said, initiating a sales process that could yield about 1.5 billion euros (1.3 billion pounds) for France Telecom.

Sep 13, 2011

Exclusive: CVC eyes Orange Switzerland bid

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity group CVC is considering a bid for Orange Switzerland despite resistance from seller France Telecom to let it into the auction for Switzerland’s third-largest mobile phone company, four people familiar with the situation said.

Detailed sales information will be sent to interested parties very shortly, people said, initiating a sales process that could yield about 1.5 billion euros ($2.04 billion) for France Telecom.

Sep 8, 2011

Terra Firma back in court over EMI deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma has asked British courts for documents it could use to challenge the process by which it lost music group EMI to Citigroup, two people familiar with the matter said.

EMI sought insolvency protection in February — weeks before a debt covenant test it was expected to fail — and the administration process, undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, handed the business to sole lender Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Sep 7, 2011

Terra Firma back in court over EMI deal -sources

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Guy Hands’s private equity firm
Terra Firma has asked British courts for documents it could use
to challenge the process by which it lost music group EMI to
Citigroup, two people familiar with the matter said.

EMI sought insolvency protection in February — weeks before
a debt covenant test it was expected to fail — and the
administration process, undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers
, handed the business to sole lender Citigroup
.

Aug 19, 2011

Sage fails to land deal for Australia’s MYOB: sources

HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) – Market turmoil has derailed software group Sage’s (SGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bid to buy Australian peer MYOB, handing rival bidder Bain Capital the chance to secure a deal in its place, people familiar with the matter said.

Sage entered exclusive discussions to buy the Australian software group earlier this week having outbid its rivals. But falls in its share price and a weak pound mean its offer would now require shareholder approval.

Aug 16, 2011

Aegon sells Guardian Life to Cinven for £275 million

London/Amsterdam (Reuters) – European buyout firm Cinven CINV.UL has agreed to buy Dutch insurer Aegon’s (AEGN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) UK-based Guardian Life unit for 275 million pounds, the first step in a bigger plan to scoop up more British closed life funds.

Cinven said the deal, its third in the financial services sector, would provide an attractive foothold in the market and an opportunity to consolidate life funds which are closed to new customers.