Last word

Lloyd’s TSB Development Capital (LDC), the mid-market private equity firm, has backed a £33m (US$63m) management buyout of PJH Group, a UK-based distributor of kitchens and bathrooms. LDC has invested £10m for a majority shareholding, while HSBC has supported the deal with debt of £27.5m. PJH is an exclusive supplier of bathrooms to B&Q. Jim Hodkinson, former chairman and CEO of B&Q, will join PJH as non-executive chairman. This is LDC’s third deal in four weeks, following the £12m MBO for Music Zone and the £26m disposal of Xpert.

  • The board of Denmark’s ISS, the listed support services group/contract cleaner, has endorsed the tender-offer by EQT and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, which includes a cash consideration of approximately US$3.9bn. A stock market announcement said that the directors were not aware of any competing offers with less than a week to go before the offer deadline ends. Financial advisor Nordea Corporate Finance has concluded that the offer price is fair to the shareholders. The public tender was announced on March 29 by acquisition vehicle PurusCo, which made a DKr470 per share cash bid. This values the group at DKr22bn, a 31% premium to the ISS closing price on March 23.
  • Cerberus, the US distressed investor, is a leading contender in the auction for Gerling, the German insurance group. A sale is expected within the next couple of weeks and the acquisition would come on the back of Cerberus’ purchase of AirFinance, the aircraft leasing group, from shareholders led by DaimlerChrysler. A previous bid for Gerling valued the group at over €2.5bn, while reports said that Cerberus had paid over US$1bn for Daimler’s 45% stake in AirFinance. Cerberus has had a profile in Germany for the last couple of years, but it has been more active previously in distressed debt auctions and real estate transactions.