In brief top news

CVC Capital Partners and its investee company Post Danmark are in intensive discussions with a view to acquiring a stake in Belgium’s national postal operator.

The Belgian State expects to take stock of the results of the discussions with the syndicate in September. The partnership envisaged would see the syndicate take a participation in De Post/La Poste of 50% of the capital stock minus one share in the context of a capital increase.

Earlier this month, CVC finalised the purchase of a 22% in Post Danmark for US$210m, valuing the entire company at US$1.4bn. In 2003, Belgium’s De Post/La Poste reported a net loss of €64.4m on a turnover of about €1.9bn. Ordinary activities generated a loss of €35.6m.

By contrast, Post Danmark achieved a net profit of €73.3m in 2004, the best in the history of the company. Post Danmark reported a profit before tax of €112m (DKr836m) on revenues of €1.5bn (DKr11.2bn).

Morgan Stanley is advising the Belgian State on the negotiations.

  • German middle-market buyout firm Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) has approved a share buyback programme at €12.50 per share. The tender offer, addressed to all shareholders, intends to optimise the company’s capital structure and will extend to up to 1.86m shares, 10% of DBAG’s share capital.

Over the past months, DBAG has realised a number of investments that have generated significant liquidity. They included Hormann, Schlott Gruppe and Babcock Borsig in Germany as well as Edgen in the US.

These inflows have built DBAG’s cash position. In its interim report on April 30 2005, the company recorded cash resources of €33m, which have risen further since. Bank borrowings had been repaid in full.

  • Fresh from its acquisition of Yellow Brick Road for €1.825bn, Macquarie Capital Alliance is leading a consortium to acquire BBC Broadcast. The investment arm of the Australian bank is leading a group that will buy 100% of the distributor and promoter of multimedia content, for £166m. Macquarie Capital itself will take a 65% interest in BBC Broadcast for around £75m.

The acquisition price represents an historic EV/Ebitda multiple of 11.6 times for the year ending March 31 2005. In that period, the BBC and its related entities represented 91% of BBC Broadcast’s revenues of £109m. Contracted revenue from the BBC is expected to exceed £500m over the period to 2015. BBC Broadcast has exclusive agreements with the BBC until 2015. The deal is on line to close at the end of July, subject to final approval from the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.

BNP Paribas has arranged and underwritten debt facilities totalling £110m for the buyout. Macquarie Bank has committed £40m in equity to the consortium. MCAG will use a combination of proceeds from its recent IPO and recently arranged bridge financing to fund its equity participation.