Last word

Kesa Electricals, the Anglo-French owner of the Comet and Darty retail chains, has knocked back a 325p per share, £1.72bn (US$2.97bn) cash offer from private equity firms Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The UK-headquartered retailer of appliances and consumer electronics,` responded to a share price rise of close to 20% by confirming that it has received a conditional proposal from a private equity consortium “regarding a possible offer for Kesa at 325 pence per share in cash.”

The Kesa board has concluded that the conditional proposal “undervalues the company and its prospects. As such, the board of Kesa has unanimously rejected the proposal.”

  • AXA Private Equity, the investment arm of the French insurance group, has signed an agreement to acquire Pfleiderer Track Systems, a supplier to the rail track industry which generates annual revenues of about €150m. The acquisition is subject to approval by the German anti-trust authority. The German industrial group Pfleiderer had rescinded a previous exclusivity agreement with its German peer Vossloh, following a delay in the approval procedure due to misgivings by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

AXA Private Equity was advised by Deloitte & Touche (financial), Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (legal), Milbank Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (financing contracts), E&Y (tax), Roland Berger (market due diligence), Marsh (insurance), SYNCAP Management (M&A). Financing will be provided by Dresdner Bank.

  • US based Newbridge Capital has won the highly competitive auction for Coles Myer, Australia’s most prestigious department store chain. The company was sold for just over AUS$1bn, higher than the AUS$600m-800m range that APEN has been predicting. Australian press reports say the deal gives Coles Myer about $700 million in profits on the sale.