Live Deals: KKR Bids Big in Norway, Invests in Siemens –

Buyout titan Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. is reportedly preparing a bid of $20 to $24 per share for Orkla, a Norwegian maker of food and drink, according to Norwegian business daily Finansavisen. The reported bid would value the company at an estimated $5.236 billion.

A spokesperson for KKR said the firm declined to comment on any speculations. Other U.S. buyout firms with investments in European food companies include Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst , which recently acquired Hillsdown Holdings and is seeking to close its acquisition of United Biscuits in the U.K. (BUYOUTS Dec. 20, 1999, p. 25).

German Machines

In a separate transaction, Siemens A.G. Bosch, a Germany-based supplier of auto parts, last October reportedly sold off its cash register and ATM machine business to KKR for an estimated $713 million. The new company will operate under the name Wincor Nixdorf.

“In view of developments over the past year, our target of becoming the number one worldwide provider of information technology for the retail and banking sectors is by no means unrealistic,” said Karl-Heinz Stiller, spokesman at Siemens Nixdorf Retail and Banking Systems in an interview with M2 Communications.

Partners at KKR could not be reached for comments on the deal by press time.

KKR in September was set to hold a first close on its European buyout funds on more than $2.5 billion making it one of the largest European buyout fund to date (BUYOUTS Sept. 27, 1999, p.10). KKR in February also launched a $995 million bid for Wassall in an attempt to merge its Thorn Lighting Group subsidiary with Austrian group Zumtobel to form the largest operator in the European lighting fittings market.