EU competition law

Arsys Group

Private equity backers: Carlyle and Mercapital

Business description: Web hosting

Deal value: €160m

Notified: 21/12/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 04/02/08

The EU has approved the purchase of Arsys Internet, a Spanish provider of domain name registration and web hosting services, by Spanish buyout house Mercapital and US powerhouse Carlyle for €160m. Carlyle said in a statement that the two groups will invest equal amounts in Arsys, while the founders of the company will retain a minority stake.

Arsys has more than 550,000 domains registered, 170,000 clients, 250 employees and commercial activity in Spain, France and Portugal and provides services to companies located in over 100 different countries. For 2007, Arsys expects revenues of over €40m.


Private equity backer: CVC Capital Partners

Business description: Fruit producer and supplier

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 04/01/08

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 08/02/08

The EU has approved the purchase of Katope International by De Weide Blik, a portfolio company of British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. De Weide Blik is a Belgian group active in the production, import, export packaging, handling and logistics of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, flower bulbs, plants and meals. It operates under the umbrella name of Univeg. Its main activities are concentrated in the Benelux region.

Katopé is active in the production, import, export, packing and distribution of exotic, citrus and off-season fruits as well as, to a lesser extent, vegetables. In Europe, the UK and France are by far its two most important sales areas.


Private equity backer: KKR

Business description: Software developer

Deal value: £593m

Notified: 11//01/08

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 14/02/08

The EU has approved the purchase by KKR of Northgate Information Solutions for 95 pence per share, valuing the company at £593m. Northgate provides specialist software, outsourcing and IT services to the human resources, local government, education and public safety markets. Northgate, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, currently employs over 6,000 staff and operates in 46 countries across 5 continents.

In the UK, the company works with four out of five local authorities and every police force. Northgate supports public service transformation through sustainable performance partnerships. Its technology is used in the administration of more than £12bn of revenues and benefits and in electoral administration systems covering 18 million people.


Private equity backer: Triton

Business description: Tar chemicals

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 20/12/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 01/02/08

The EU has approved the acquisition by German buyout firm Triton Partners of Ruetgers, the tar chemicals unit of Evonik Industries. Evonik, formerly known as RAG, said in a statement at the end of last year that the sale will allow its Degussa division to focus on its main business of specialty chemicals.

Ruetgers Chemicals is looking to achieve sales of around €700m for the last financial year, and supplies of tar chemicals to the aluminium and steel industries. It employs about 950 staff and has an EBITA of €60m on sales of €650m in 2006. Evonik plans to float the chemicals, energy and real estate businesses next year.


Private equity backer: EQT

Business description: Infrastructure services provider

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 09/01/08

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 13/02/08

The EU has approved the acquisition by EQT of SAG, a German provider of energy-related infrastructure services to utilities, from US-based buyout firm Advent International. Advent bought SAG in May 2006 with the takeover of RWE Solutions AG from RWE AG. The debt financing for the transaction will be provided by Commerzbank Corporates & Markets, The Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas and Intermediate Capital Group.

SAG provides build and maintenance outsourcing services for utilities in their transmission and distribution grids. With its 5,900 employees the company generates cumulative revenues of approximately €770m. SAG is the German market leader and has international subsidiaries in France, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Securitas Direct

Private equity backer: EQT

Business description: Security services

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 17/12/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 31/01/08

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Swedish-based security services company Securitas Direct by Nordic buyout house EQT. Securitas’ board of directors has recommended its shareholders reject the offer of SKR24 per share by ESML Intressenter, a subsidiary of EQT V, SakI, Melker Schoerling, and Investment Latour.

The total offer is worth US$1.5bn Saki, MSAB and Latour already own a total of 15.5% of the capital and 40.5% of the votes in Securitas Direct and would transfer their stakes to ESML Intressenter if the offer is completed. Latour is the largest shareholder in Securitas Direct with 7.5% of the capital.