Private equity correspondent
Simon's Feed
Jul 8, 2012

European buyouts hit hard by regional debt crisis

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity dealmakers are sitting on their hands, unwilling to sell their companies until the euro zone stabilizes and debt markets improve enough to support higher prices, according to a study from the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR).

The impasse is leading to a downturn in new deals and hindering the sale of companies between rival private equity firms, an activity that can often account for around half of transactions in the industry in a year.

Jul 6, 2012

Altor and CVC lead Nordic sales flurry – sources

STOCKHOLM/LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) – Private equity form CVC
wants to sell its Danish retailer Matas while Nordic peer Altor
is preparing to sell Swedish food supply business Eurocater, a
brace of Nordic deals that could be worth a total 1.3 billion
euros ($1.6 billion), people familiar with the matter said.

The planned sales, expected to start later this year, show
Nordic markets are preparing to end the year as they started -
with a slew of deals worth billions of dollars that will attract
private equity giants and large corporate groups alike.

Jul 5, 2012

UK’s Charterhouse close to second big deal -sources

LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) – Charterhouse is close
to selling French engineering group Fives to AXA Private Equity,
people familiar with the deal said, potentially the second big
sale for the British private equity firm in just one week.

AXA Private Equity – the private equity arm of French
insurer AXA – beat a handful of other buyout houses,
including BC Partners, Cinven and PAI in an
auction process run by Rothschild, two people said.

Jul 4, 2012

David Jones suitor’s history of headlines

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – John Edgar, the man behind a
controversial aborted bid for Australia’s No.2 department store
chain, may be hard to track down, but he is no stranger to
grabbing the headlines, having once claimed to sell the world’s
most expensive whisky.

Edgar and his company EB Private Equity have gone to ground
after withdrawing a A$1.65 billion ($1.7 billion) offer for
David Jones amid a roller-coaster ride in the company’s
shares and a regulatory investigation.

Jul 3, 2012

Wood Mac valued at 1.1 billion pounds in latest buyout

LONDON (Reuters) – Hellman & Friedman will take a majority stake in energy analysis group Wood Mackenzie in a deal that values the company at 1.1 billion pounds including debt and marks a relatively quick turnaround for seller Charterhouse CHCAP.UL in an otherwise sluggish buyouts market.

The deal comes just three years after Charterhouse acquired the business in a 553 million pound buyout, which ranked as the largest private equity deal in 2009, and could help Wood Mac expand in North America as well as possibly paving the way for a stock market listing in New York.

Jul 3, 2012

Wood Mac valued at 1.1 bln stg in latest buyout

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) – Hellman & Friedman will take a
majority stake in energy analysis group Wood Mackenzie in a deal
that values the company at 1.1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) and
marks a relatively quick turnaround for seller Charterhouse in
an otherwise sluggish buyouts market.

The deal comes just three years after Charterhouse acquired
the business in a 553 million pound buyout, which ranked as the
largest private equity deal in 2009.

Jul 3, 2012

BlackRock to buy Swiss Re private equity business

LONDON/ZURICH, July 3 (Reuters) – U.S. investment manager
BlackRock is buying Swiss Re’s European
private equity arm, marking the second deal for a private equity
fund manager in as many days as sellers contend with a new
regulatory landscape and tough trading.

Swiss Re’s deal to sell its $7.5 billion private equity and
infrastructure fund of funds business follows hot on the heels
of HarbourVest Partners’ agreement to buy Amsterdam-listed
private equity fund of funds business Conversus Capital
.

Jul 2, 2012

Permira lines up payout with Iglo debt deal

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) – Private equity firm Permira is
gearing up to refinance the debt in frozen foods group Iglo and
pay itself a hefty dividend after rejecting a 2.5 billion euro
($3.17 billion) bid for the company, banking sources said on
Monday.

Permira has lined up a refinancing with Credit Suisse and
Deutsche Bank, bankers said, after snubbing a joint offer for
the company from Blackstone and BC Partners – the last remaining
bidders in a sales process last week – ending what would have
been one of the largest leveraged buyouts of the year.

Jun 29, 2012

Private equity firm 3i axes a third of jobs

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – Private equity firm 3i
is axing more than a third of its workforce and closing offices
from Barcelona to Shanghai in an overhaul it hopes will help
turn around its ailing performance and appease disgruntled
shareholders.

The cuts are a fresh attempt to halt a decline at one of
Europe’s biggest private equity groups that started five years
ago and has seen the ousting of former Chief Executive Michael
Queen as well as his predecessor Philip Yea in 2009.

Jun 27, 2012

Buyout duo drop new bid, freezing Iglo sale-sources

LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) – Blackstone and BC
Partners will not table a fresh bid for frozen foods
group Iglo, leaving owner Permira in control of the
subject of one of Europe’s largest buyouts and eyeing a
refinancing to pay itself a hefty dividend, people familiar with
the situation said.

The decision by Blackstone and BC Partners not to come back
with a higher offer ends the chances of what would have been the
largest buyout of this year and underlines the fragility of new
deals in what remains a patchy private equity deals market.