New in brief

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Marfin Investment Group are both interested in bidding for a stake in UN Ro Ro in a government tender. According to reports, the two have made it to the shortlist of bidders for 87% of the shipping company, which operates roll-on roll-off ferries and is considered among the top 10 short distance ferry operators globally.

Cinven has its sights firmly set on network operator Completel in a deal worth almost US$1bn. Altice B2B France, a joint venture 49%-owned by private equity fund Cinven, is planning to buy French metropolitan telecoms network provider Completel in a deal worth €723m. Altice B2B is 51%-owned by European cable company Altice, which in turn is 70%-controlled by Cinven. Under the terms of the transaction, Altice B2B France would first acquire a 21% stake in Completel at €35 to €35.50 per share, and then a further 34% at €35.50. This part of the deal is expected to be complete by September 17, after which Altice B2B would acquire the remaining shares at €35.50.

Tesco has extended the offer period for its 1,500p per share offer for Dobbies, the UK garden centre. Tesco’s £155.6m (US$314m) offer for Dobbies was declared unconditional on August 17. The offer period has now been extended to September 14. There was no indication of the level of acceptances offer has received. Last week, Tesco said that it had a total of 53% of Dobbies, following its acquisition of a 29.5% stake and acceptances from 23.5% of shareholders. West Coast Capital was also interested in Dobbies and might well work with Tesco if the supermarket chain suceeds with the bid.

Delta Two, a Qatari-backed investment group, is expected to begin due diligence on J Sainsbury, the UK supermarket business, as talks between the two parties continue. City sources continue to be optimistic that a deal can be done, despite UK press reports that a “put up or shut up” deadline has been imposed on Delta Two. A source told IFR Buyouts’ online sister publication Thomson Merger News that “there are still potential deal-breakers in there, but progress is being made”. Another source said that no “put up or shut up” demand had been made. Delta Two is thought to be considering injecting between £500m and £1bn more equity into its proposal, which currently comprises £3.1bn of equity, £500m of preference shares, £1bn of PIK notes and £10.4bn of debt provided by Credit Suisse, Dresdner Kleinwort and ABN AMRO.

PPR would be interested in acquiring Bulgari if the Italian jeweller was up for sale, PPR chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said. Asked what sectors PPR would like to invest in, Pinault was reported as saying: “Why not in jewellery, which is expanding fantastically, and where all we have now is Boucheron? Bulgari for example, is not for sale. In the opposite case, we would surely have examined the dossier.”