Candover close to US$885m Wood Mackenzie sale

Private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners is in exclusive talks about buying Candover’s Wood Mackenzie for about £550m, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

A sale of the Edinburgh-based energy research and consulting firm would provide a welcome cash infusion for Candover, whose listed parent Candover Investments is itself in talks about a takeover or stake sale.

However Charterhouse’s offer is below the £650m price tag originally attached to the business by newspapers.

Charterhouse’s bid topped competing second-round offers from rivals Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman and Warburg Pincus, the person said. Earlier interest had also come from consultancies and trade rivals.

Candover owns 67% of Wood Mackenzie, with management holding the rest. Goldman Sachs is advising on the sale.

Charterhouse representatives did not immediately return requests for comment. Candover, Wood Mackenzie, and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Reporting by Quentin Webb. Editing by Douwe Miedema