Last word

  • Electra Partners Europe has appointed five new investment professionals. Steven Evans joins the London office as an associate, having worked previously in the European and US office of Bain & Co. Tim Easingwood also joined the London team as an associate after working as an investment executive with Permira. In Frankfurt, Andreas Kraemer joined as an associate from Morgan Stanley, where he worked in the investment banking division. Frederic Azemard and Cedric Rays joined Electra’s Paris office. Azemard joined as an associate from Bain & Co and Rays as a principal from Apax in Paris.
  • The remaining consortium in the running to buy Somerfield has confirmed that it remains a contender to buy the £1.1bn (US$2.2bn) UK supermarket chain as the Takeover Panel’s offer deadline approaches. Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and the Robert Tchenguiz family trust said in a statement that they continued to work towards an offer for Somerfield. The move is in response to speculation around the beginning of the month that Apax would withdraw from the race for Somerfield. A fourth partner in the consortium, retail investor Baugur, withdrew in July as it faced the fall-out from fraud charges brought against key executives in its native Iceland.
  • Two-thirds of private equity firms have cancelled a transaction due to pension liabilities, according to Punter Southall Transaction Services, the M&A consultancy division of Punter Southall. A recent report from the group canvassed the views of investment professionals at private equity houses regularly involved in UK transactions. It revealed that everyone surveyed had encountered pension problems in deals at some point, with 88% frequently facing pensions issues. Given the potential problems that a pensions deficiency in a target company could present, 40% said that they typically spent £15,000 to £30,000 on pensions due diligence, while one-third spent more than £30,000.