In brief top news

France Telecom has agreed to buy out the minority shareholders in Orange Slovakia, the leading mobile telephony operator in Slovakia with a 57% market share, for a cash consideration of US$628m. The transaction will increase France Telecom’s stake in Orange Slovakia from 63.88% to 100%. Sellers include a consortium of financial investors led by AIG New Europe Fund and AIG Emerging Europe Infrastructure Fund, as well as funds managed by Enterprise Investors and Innova Capital.

  • CVC Capital Partners sold Adisseo Group, its animal nutrition business, to China National Chemical Corporation as part of the purchaser’s first international acquisition. China National BlueStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ChemChina, which was advised by Credit Suisse First Boston, will hold Belgium-based Adisseo as a new strategic division. The entity has 26 other units concentrated in speciality chemicals and industrial cleaning that posted sales of €2.5bn last year. Adisseo designs, manufactures and distributes nutritional additives for the animal feed sector and had annual turnover of about €500m. This was only slightly less than the €588.6m the company had in year 2000 as the Aventis Animal Nutrition subsidiary of pharmaceuticals giant, Sanofi-Aventis. Aventis sold its animal nutrition arm in June 2001 to CVC.
  • Corbett Keeling, the corporate finance advisory firm, and Plextek, a UK-based electronics design consultancy, have entered a joint trading agreement to advise on corporate finance transactions in the software and technology sectors. Graham Maile, director of strategic consulting at Plextek, has become an associate of Corbett Keeling. Under the joint agreement, the two firms will advise on fundraising, sector-based due diligence and bid support, disposals and transactions governed by the UK takeover code. KF accountants and business advisers have, meanwhile, appointed Philip Atkinson as a corporate finance partner. He specialises in lead advisory work, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, fundraising and strategic advice. He was previously a corporate finance director for Numerica.
  • ABN AMRO Capital acquired a majority stake in Bianchi Vending, Europe’s second-largest manufacturer of vending machines. The company has 11% of the European market, with a 26% share in Italy, 14% in Spain and 12% in France. It also has growing operations in Central and Eastern Europe and South America. Founded in 1950, Bianchi Vending employs 500 people and forecast revenue of circa €69m in 2005. ABN AMRO has also backed the €30m management buyout of Grupo Euro 56, which provides mortgage processing and formalisation services to financial institutions and real estate appraisal services through subsidiary Eurotasa. The business has grown by more than 50% over the past three years. Following the acquisition of Nueva Terrain in July, the acquisition marks the second buyout by ABN AMRO Capital in Spain this year and the fifth deal since it started operations in 2001. Since the beginning of 2005, ABN AMRO has completed 12 buyouts across Europe with an aggregate deal value of more than €2bn and has realised six exits.