News in brief

PPM Capital has completed the acquisition of Paramount Restaurants for £107.5m.Equity funding was provided by PPM and the Paramount management team whowill be re-investing part of their proceeds. Debt facilities was provided by RBS, Barclays and HSBC.Paramount operates 77 restaurants throughout the UK under the following well knownbrands: Chez Gérard, Bertorelli, Caffè Uno, Livebait, Café Fish and therecently launched Brasserie Chez Gérard. The group had pro-forma revenuesof approximately £72m in the year to June 2006 and employs around 1800staff.PPM is backing the incumbent management team, led by chief executive Nick Basing.The current owners of Paramount are Starlight (a company ultimately controlledby the family interests of Guy Naggar and Peter Klimt) and various otherinvestment funds.The group was created by the combination of Group Chez Gérard and CaffèUno. Paramount acquired the Chez Gerard in 2003 and Caffè Uno was acquired from. The Restaurant Group in December 2005.

  • MAN Takraf Fördertechik, a German supplier of mining and materials-handling equipment, has been acquired by VTC, a German private equity group. Details of the transaction were not disclosed but MAN Takraf generates annual revenues of €130m and its customers include Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. VTC said it planned to support Takraf’s growth strategy. VTC focuses on investing in companies with sales ranging from €50m to €250m based in German speaking countries. VTC is currently invested in machinery, plant engineering and infrastructure businesses. Advisers to the buyer included Norton Rose (legal), Deloitte Touche (tax/financial) and Roland Berger (Commercial).
  • Royal Bank of Scotland has backed a £500m (US$934m) management buyout of UK property development Allied London Properties. The secondary buyout deal will see the bank, alongside Allied management and investment adviser Delancy, buy the entire share capital of Allied through special purpose vehicle Capital Holdco.
  • Financial services recruitment website is reported to have been sold to US online recruitment specialist Dice in a £48m (US$90m) deal. The website is part of the eFinancial Group, which earlier this year hired investment bank Rothschild to manage a sale of its businesses. eFinancial Group was established in 1990 and includes publishing arm eFinancialnews, which is set for a £25m sale to Source Media at the beginning of 2007. eFinancial Group founder and CEO Angus MacDonald is reported to own a 25% stake in the group as a whole. US based Dice was bought by private equity investors Quadrangle Capital Partners and General Atlantic Partners in 2005.