Last word

The David Service Group has agreed to sell subsidiary Elliott Group Ltd to London-based European buyout investors TDR Capital, together with the Elliott management team led by managing director Paul Smeeth, for £166m (US$303m).

TDR Capital already has a majority investment in Ristretto, the French holding company of Europe’s largest modular building business Algeco. Capital Management and Investment PLC, which owns 28% of Ristretto, has said that it will invest £15.4m in Ristretto in order to maintain its shareholding level in the event that the company also becomes the holding company for Elliott.

  • Three buyout firms and one trade buyer have been short-listed for the £150m (US$273.9m) auction of BBC Broadcast, the digital transmission arm of the UK’s state media group.

The four companies are Apax Partners, which hired the BBC’s former director general Greg Dyke last year; Exponent Private Equity, a start-up that has yet to make an investment; Macquarie Group, the investment arm of the Australian bank that bought NTL’s broadcast towers last year; and Technicolor, a processor and distributor of motion picture film and manufacturer of video-cassettes, CDs and DVDs owned by the France and US-listed Thomson group, which is unrelated to Thomson Merger News.

  • Nordic private equity firm Industri Kapital has backed the merger of two Wihuri and Tradeka subsidiaries to create the third-largest retail chain in Finland.

The new company, Tradeka, will be 51% owned by co-operative Tradeka Corp, while Wihuri retains a 16% stake and Industri Kapital 32%. Industri Kapital, however, has an option to increase its ownership in the company to 67% from Tradeka’s shares. Deal terms were undisclosed.

The combined group will have a market share close to 14% in Finland’s daily goods retail industry. The group has 750 stores and 6,900 employees, and its combined net sales in 2004 were more than €1.3bn.