Last word

• Sir David Arculus, a 25-year Emap veteran, has proposed that he replace Emap chairman Alun Cathcart. Arculus also criticised the UK media group’s board as being directionless. Arculus as chairman would give Emap shareholders a potential alternative to the sale of the company’s three divisions.Arculus is understood to have talked to bidders including TPG, whose joint offer with DLJ did not make it through the first round of bidding for Emap’s radio and consumer divisions.Emap is thought to have received offers of £1.3bn (€1.8bn) or higher for its business magazines division. Apax Partners is bidding jointly with Guardian Media Group. Cinven, Candover, Providence Equity Partners and Permira have also tabled bids for the business publishing division. Quadrangle, Exponent, Providence and Cinven have made offers of around £700m for Emap’s consumer magazines business. Hearst, the privately-owned US-based publisher, has also put in a bid for the consumer magazines. Global Radio, the UK-listed radio broadcaster, has submitted an offer for Emap’s broadcasting business.Emap plans to give an update when it unveils its interim figures on November 13, by which time the second round of auctions should have been concluded. Arculus had no comment on a report that shareholders representing 25% of Emap’s stock had urged him to propose himself for the chairman’s job. Some of the shareholders who supported his stance were understood to be awaiting the outcome of the Emap auction before demanding a change of leadership. Arculus would not comment either on whether he would cancel the auctions of Emap’s business-to-business, consumer magazines and radio divisions. However, he did say that there was scope for “corporate activity” at Emap. Citigroup and Lazard are financial advisers to Emap.

Aga Foodservice, maker of the iconic iron oven, has agreed to sell its commercial business to Italian rival Ali for £260m (€373.9m). The sum includes assumption of the company’s £80m debts. However, this would depend on permission being granted by the trustees of the group’s £700m pension scheme and the Pension Regulator. Aga has said it will put £10m in to the scheme and guarantee to put an extra £22.5m if a third party makes an offer for the company within the next six years. Edmund Truell’s Pensions Insurance Corporation (PIC) has built up a significant stake in Aga with a view to possibly launching a bid for the entire group. PIC aims to take on the liabilities of underfunded pension schemes in return for a one off fee. It has already bought out the Threshers and Thorn schemes and is currently in the process of making an offer for Telent, which is responsible for the Marconi scheme. Aga said it was “considering, in conjunction with the trustees of the pension scheme and the respective specialist pensions advisers, ways in which to accelerate the pension scheme becoming self sufficient with the objective of reducing risk and enhancing long-term shareholder value”. Aga added that it would now focus on the organic growth of its consumer range. Dresdner Kleinwort and Citi advised Aga on the sale.Last year the equipment division made a £21.2m operating profit on £250.3m revenues. Thus the sale fetched 12.2 times operating profits for Aga. The FTSE 250 company said it would return “a significant proportion of the available net proceeds” to shareholders in the first quarter of 2008. ISIS Equity Partners (ISIS) has announced the sale of Boldon James to QinetiQ Group. The £20m deal will be settled for an initial cash consideration of £15.7m, with a further £4.3m payable depending on the achievement of specific performance criteria. The sale to QinetiQ yields a multiple of 3.11X and an IRR of 69.5% to ISIS’ clients.

ISIS backed the £5.5m management buyout of Boldon James in June 2005. Boldon James is a UK based provider of software solutions for high end secure messaging, primarily for military, government and security customers. Its applications are commonly used for communicating highly confidential strategic and tactical information across multiple sites and geographic jurisdictions.

Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC), the mid-market private equity provider, has appointed of Edward Hayter as partnerships director. The role of partnerships director has been specifically created to work with LDC’s portfolio companies to deliver profit improvements through better procurement; Identify and deliver cross-selling opportunities within the portfolio and research and potentially implement opportunities for a pan-portfolio procurement programme offering buying advantage to current and exited LDC portfolio companies. Hayter will report to CEO Candida Morley who is on the LDC Board. Edward joins LDC from Lloyds TSB Bank where he has been head of strategy in the International Banking Division, following his first role in the bank as head of international advisory services, LTSB’s external management consultancy practice. Prior to LTSB Edward was Chief Operating Officer of BT’s strategic ventures portfolio between 2002 and 2004.