News in brief

Penn, a drug delivery business, has passed between private equity hands, after UK mid-market firm Gresham Private Equity sold the business to Lloyds Development Capital for £67m (€98.5m). Gresham generated a 12 times money multiple on the sale of Penn, which it backed in a £12m (€17.6m) management buyout in September 2000, investing £5.8m in the transaction. Penn based in Tredegar, south Wales, tests, develops and manufactures products form a range of international customers. Gresham later demerged Penn into Penn Pharmaceuticals and Penn T, with the latter sold to US oncology business Celgene in Ocotober 2004. Penn Pharmaceuticals company has seen its turnover increase fivefold since 1999, with profits increasing tenfold, according to Gresham. Employee numbers have also doubled to 200. Ernst & Young and Addleshaw Goddard advised on the transaction

Barclays Private Equity pays US$355m for Parkeon, former parking solutions business of Schlumberger. Barclays Private Equity has bought Parkeon, a French provider of transport and transport ticketing solutions, from Apax France for €260m (US$355m). Apax and management led a buyout of e-city, the former parking solutions business of Schlumberger, in 2003, renaming the business Parkeon. An initial refinancing of Parkeon was carried out in November 2004, with BNP Paribas providing €60m. Allied Irish Bank underwrote a combination of senior bank debt, mezzanine debt and stand-by credit facilities for a second refinancing last January. According to Apax, Parkeon has increased its turnover by 20 percent to reach €150m. Last year, Apax said that Parkeon was aiming to increase turnover from €130m to €200m by 2010.

Bayside Capital, a Florida-based affiliate of HIG Capital, a US private equity firm with European offices in London, Paris and Hamburg, has bought Diam Europe, a point of purchase displays business. No terms were disclosed for the transaction. Diam Europe, headquartered outside of Paris, designs and manufactures POP displays for cosmetics. Operating in France, the UK, Belgium, Germany and Spain, with subsidiaries recently launched in the US and China, Diam Europe has revenues of more than €100m.

• Accounting software business in sights for 3i and Bridgepoint as HgCapital looks to exit after less than three years.3i and Bridgepoint, two European mid-market buyout firms, are considering bidding for Iris, a UK accounting software business owned by HgCapital, a London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam private equity house. According to a source 3i and Bridgepoint are considering making rival bids of between £250m and £300m. The source added that Iris is in the same market as Sage Group, although the latter has a current market capitalisation of approximately £3.34bn. HgCapital outbid Sage in the €552m auction for Norwegian accounting software business Visma in April 2006. HgCapital backed a £102m management buyout of Iris Software in July 2004, taking a 62 percent majority stake, with LDC reinvesting £8m to take a 12 percent stake.