News in Brief

EQT sells Plantasjen

Apax has acquired Pantasjen, a Norwegian garden centre owner, from Nordic buyout firm EQT for an undisclosed sum. The sale marks a the end of an investment that began in October 2001. Since that time the business has expanded into the Swedish and Finnish markets, opening up 45 new stores.

Fraikin IPO

Fraikin Groupe, a French truck leasing company, is to float on Euronext Paris with an offer range of €14 to €16.25 per share, giving the company a market capitalisation of around €1.5bn. The IPO is expected to raise between €450.9m and €520.7m. The float will provide an exit for a consortium led by Eurazeo which acquired the business in 2003 for €805m.

Barclays floats LSL

LSL Property, a UK property service company, has applied for admission to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s market for listed securities. The business is hoping to achieve a market cap of €313m. Mid-market firm Barclays Private Equity invested in LSL in 2004, backing the MBO of e-surv and Your Move.

Amadeus sells Solexa stake

UK VCs have sold their shares in Solexa, a US-headquartered biotech company, through a sale to Illumina, a US genotyping specialist. The company has received venture backing since 1998 with investors including Abingworth, Amadeus, Oxford Bioscience and SV Life Sciences Advisers.

TSO sold by Apax

Apax has sold its 71% stake in The Stationery Office (TSO), the leading document and publishing services provider to the UK public sector, to Williams Lea, a unit of Deutsche Post, for a reported €193m. Apax acquired TSO in July 1999.