Panel issues TDG deadline

The UK Takeover Panel has said that rival bidders for transport group TDG must “announce a firm intention to make an offer” for the company, or say it does not intend to, by 5pm on June 20.

The notice applies to activist hedge fund Laxey Partners and rival transport company Wincanton. Both suitors said on May 9, when TDH held its AGM, that they were interested in making a possible offer.

Wincanton indicated it would make a cash offer at 290p a share, including a 8.75p declared dividend. However, the shares remain at 269.25p, valuing TDG at £219m (€276m). Wincanton said its offer could be lower after due diligence.

Laxey suggested its possible bid would be 275p less the 8.75p dividend. It had already completed due diligence.

JC Flowers supports HSH Nordbank

US private equity investor JC Flowers is planning to put more cash into HSH Nordbank, after the German lender failed to float on the stock market this year.

A report has suggested that Flowers could put as much as €300m into its investment, which is still majority public owned as a Landesbank.

In total HSH wants to raise roughly €1.26bn from its shareholders, most of whom are public bodies.

Flowers will invest via convertibles which will turn into equity when the company eventually floats. This is not expected until next year. The firm currently has a 26.6% stake in HSH.

Flowers is also an investor in Dutch merchant bank NIBC, which failed to float two years ago and recently saw its €3bn sale to Kaupthing pulled.

Wendel targets German Mittelstand

French buyout firm Wendel is eyeing takeover targets in Germany, with a particular focus in medium-sized companies, Handelsblatt has reported, citing managing director Roland Lienau.

“In the German mid-sized market, there are a couple of companies of good quality that could be of interest to us,” Lienau said, adding this refers to companies with a value of up to €1.5bn.

Earlier this month, Wendel posted first-quarter turnover of €1.39bn, up 11.1% year-on-year, mainly due to the strong performance of its subsidiary Bureau Veritas.

Sirius trousers Jeckerson

Italian sportswear brand Jeckerson has been acquired by a buyout consortium led by Sirius Equity for €140m. The deal was also backed by Stirling Square Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs International.

This is one of the first deals for Sirius Equity, which was founded earlier this year by Robert Bensoussan and Jim Sharp. Bensoussan spent six years at Jimmy Choo, transforming the shoe brand before its sale to Towerbrook. Previously he was chief executive of Christian Lacroix.

Apparently Stirling Square will have majority control of the company. Stirling acquired Italian security group Sicurglobal last month.

Interbanca and MPS Capital acted as joint debt underwriters on the Jeckerson deal financing. Jeckerson is famed for its men’s trousers found throughout Italy.

More consolidation is expected in the Italian fragmented fashion market (see feature, Permira plans further fashion buys on page 5).