EU competition law


Backers: AAC and Polaris

Business description: Baby equipment retailer

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 29/02/08

Provisional deadline: 09/04/08

AAC Capital Partners and Polaris Private Equity have agreed to acquire a majority stake in BabySam, Denmark’s leading baby equipment retailer. Management will also be making a substantial reinvestment. Debt financing will be provided by HSH Nordbank.

Founded in 1976, Babysam is a chain of 31 independent stores with a combined revenue of approximately €65m. BabySam enjoys the largest market share in Denmark and its brand is widely recognised as a retailer with a high quality product range (including baby carriages, pushchairs, nursery, safety and feeding products and clothing).

AAC and Polaris plan to transform the chain to create the Nordic region’s leading integrated baby equipment retail chain.


Backers: Montagu

Business description: Waste services

Deal value: £1.7bn

Notified: 11/02/08

Cleared: 17/03/08

The EU has approved the purchase of waste services group Biffa by Montagu Private Equity, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Uberior Co-Investments. The WasteAcquisitionco consortium will acquire the UK business for £1.7bn in a public to private bid. It will pay 350 pence in cash per share for Biffa, valuing the equity at £1.231bn, implying an enterprise value of £1.7bn to £1.9bn.

Shareholders of Biffa have approved the offer, with shareholders owning 98% of Biffa stock voted in favour of the takeover deal. The deal is expected to be completed by April 7th, at which time the company will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange.


Backers: Colony Capital, Goldman Sachs and Merchant Equity Partners

Business description: Electricals retailer

Deal value: €550m

Notified: 05/02/08

Cleared: 11/03/08

The EU has approved the purchase of BUT, the French arm of UK-based Kesa Electricals, by Colony Capital, Goldman Sachs and Merchant Equity Partners. The financial buyers paid €550m for the business.

Kesa Electricals is a holding company with subsidiaries operating through 796 stores in twelve European countries. It is Europe’s third largest electrical retailing group by sales. The Group comprises four operating divisions: Darty (France), BUT (France), Comet (UK) and Other businesses which consists of Vanden Borre (Belgium), BCC (Holland), Datart (Czech Republic and Slovakia), Darty (Italy), Darty (Switzerland), Menaje del Hogar ( Spain and Portugal) and Darty (Turkey).


Backers: Altor Equity Partners

Business description: Paper producer

Deal value: US$979.5m

Notified: 14/03/08

Provisional deadline: 16/04/08

The Finnish paper producer Stora is to divest merchant paper business Papyrus to a fund managed by Altor Equity Partners for US$979.5m

The transaction consideration consists of approximately €490m in cash, approximately €93m of net liabilities assumed by the purchaser, and a vendor note of €57m.

The sale is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2008, subject to customary statutory approvals. The cash proceeds from the transaction will be used to pay down Stora Enso’s debt.

Papyrus, based in Molnlycke, Sweden, is one of Europe’s leading paper merchants with 3,100 employees in 22 European countries.

Pret a Manger

Backer: Bridgepoint

Business description: Sandwich chain

Deal value: £350m

Notified: 22/02/08

Provisional deadline: 02/04/08

Bridgepoint has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Pret A Manger, the UK’s leading retailer of good, natural, ready-to-eat sandwiches, salads and drinks. Under the terms of the transaction, the founders and management, including Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe, will make a significant re-investment in the business. McDonald‘s, which acquired a 33% share in Pret in 2001, will no longer be part of the business. Founded in 1986, Pret A Manger has 200 shops (175 in the UK, 14 in the US, 11 in Hong Kong), employs almost 4,000 people and had sales in 2007 of £223 million (£194 million in 2006).