In brief mid-market

Private equity firm Apax Partners has decided to float its Outremer portfolio company, a provider of fixed line and mobile telecoms services in the Francophone Caribbean departments. Market sources say French bank Societe General and possibly one more French bank have won the IPO mandate. The stock will debut on Euronext and is expected to riase in the region of €250m (US$316m).Outremer operates in the French overseas departments of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guiana, and Reunion. The then loss making unit was acquired through another Apax portfolio business Altamir in 2004 for around €70m.

  • Vinci is looking to sell Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a provider of aircraft handling services it acquired in 2001, and hoping to make €300m (US$379m) from the disposal, according to French daily Le Figaro. A number of private equity investors, including LBO France, Axa Private Equity and Mid Ocean Partners, as well as UK based industrial group Menzies are thought to be interested in the unit, according to French daily Le Figaro. WFS provides cargo, passenger and ramp handling and a variety of technical services to the aviation industry.Rothschild and Close Brothers have been hired to advise on the disposal. In 2001 Vinci acquired WFS from Castle Harlan Inc, for an estimated US$295m, including the assumption of up to US$205m in liabilities.
  • The management of Farrow & Ball, the UK paint manufacturer, is to buyout the business, the Independent said. .The MBO was headed by Josh Layish, chief executive, and backing was provided by the European arm of American Capital.Previous reports estimated the company to be worth £80m (US$140m).
  • ABN AMRO’s private equity business ABN AMRO Capital has agreed a £98.25m (US$182m) deal to buy Amtico International in a secondary buyout from Electra Private Equity. Amtico designs and manufacturers laminated vinyl floor tiles, and the company originated as part of the UK’s Courtaulds group.

ABN AMRO Capital will buy a 56% stake of the company with Amico’s management team co investing and Electra retaining an 18% interest in the group.

Royal Bank of Scotland will provide senior debt and working capital facilities and Electra Private Equity is making a mezzanine investment.The transaction is expected to complete within four weeks.

Electra was part of an investor group including Robert Fleming, which bought out Amtico from Courtaulds for £52.8m in a management buyout in 1995.

Close Brothers Corporate Finance advised Electra on the deal. Clearwater Corporate Finance advised Amtico management .

PriceWaterhouseCooper advised both ABN AMRO Capital and Electra on financial due diligence in relation to the bid.