Last word

Funds advised by Los Angeles-based investment group Oaktree Capital have agreed to acquire an 85% stake in Gehag, a Berlin-based real estate firm. The total value of the transaction is likely to be in excess of €100m. The vendor was HSH Real Estate, a subsidiary of regional German HSH Nordbank. The transaction is subject to approval by antitrust authorities and the City of Berlin. Gehag employs 700 staff, which manage approximately 25,000 apartments, and generated a turnover of €224m in 2004.

  • Uniq, the UK sandwich maker with a pension deficit so big that it led to the collapse of a £250m takeover bid from Duke Street, is changing CEO and business direction. Bill Ronald is the outgoing CEO. His strategy, of seeking to integrate the company’s operational divisions in the UK, France, Germany and the Benelux countries into a Pan-European chilled food business, has been deemed no longer appropriate. Instead, the new plan is to develop three, largely free-standing businesses.
  • US institutional investors increased allocations to private equity to 3.4% of total assets last year, according to research from Greenwich Associates. Allocations increased from 3% in 2003. Greenwich expects further growth in future, with about 30% of US investors planning to increase allocations to private equity in the next few years.
  • DBAG, the German middle-market private equity firm, is selling Babcock Borsig Service to Bilfinger Berger, the listed German construction group. The total value of the transaction is estimated to be in excess of €100m. Babcock Borsig recorded generating earnings before tax of €13.5m on a turnover of €350m in the past financial year. With a staff of 2,700, the company and its subsidiaries provide service and maintenance for fossil-fuelled power plants. As a result of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the regulatory authority, DBAG’s interim report should show a rise in the net asset value per share of approximately €1 to about €13.40.