Following on from the sale of Boxclever to Fortress, WestLB has completed its exit from whisky producer Whyte and MacKay. The business is one of the last in the former principal finance unit, which was run previously by Robin Saunders. WestLB accepted less than the £188m it was owed, with Bank of Scotland arranging a £135m loan to replace the outstandings. Controlling shareholders bought out WestLB’s interest in the firm as well as personal stakes held by Saunders and some of her former colleagues. WestLB wrote off €650m against Boxclever and sold it for about £200m. The only other asset left to sell is Mid-Kent Water, for which bids are due imminently.
- Nicola d’Anselmo moved to London to become co-head of leveraged finance UK at BNP Paribas. Alongside existing co-head Mike Johnson, he will report to Jean Bergeret, head of leveraged finance Europe. In his new position, d’Anselmo will be actively involved in marketing the firm’s capabilities to pan-European sponsors based in London. He will remain head of leveraged finance Italy, a position he has held since 1998. In that capacity, d’Anselmo ran the bank’s involvement in deals including Seat PG, and Galbani.
- Carlyle Group sold its 51% stake in MEC Holding to Messer Industrie, the holding company of the Messer family. This is the eighth successful exit from the portfolio, and the fifth since September 2004. Based close to Frankfurt, Messer will own 100% of the MEC Group (which was founded in October 2000 to merge Messer Cutting & Welding Group and Swiss company Castolin Eutectic Group). Messer Cutting was moved into MEC Holding from Messer Industrie. Carlyle invested in its 51% stake in MEC in June 2000 from Carlyle Europe Partners I.
- Industri Kapital’s fifth fund closed with commitments of €825m. Industri Kapital 2004 was subscribed by Nordic and International institutions, including pension funds, insurance companies, banks, government entities and funds-of-funds. Approximately 39% of the committed capital originates from the Nordic region, 36% from the rest of Europe and the remaining 25% from the United States. The fund will pursue Industri Kapital’s investment strategy of acquiring and developing mid-sized companies.