news in brief

Blackstone, KKR and Lion Capital, are believed to be preparing an £8bn offer for the US beverages arm of Cadbury Schweppes, which owns the Dr. Pepper and 7Up brands. It is reported that another rival consortium had been established, thought to include Bain Capital, Texas Pacific, and Thomas H. Lee. Blackstone and Lion acquired Cadbury’s European drinks division – now renamed Orangina – in 2006 for €1.85bn.

CVC and PAI Partners plan to incorporate Spanish and French private investors into their consortium bidding for Altadis SA and are prepared to hand over a 30 per cent stake. Reportedly the funds will present their bid in four to six weeks, once they have studied the tobacco manufacturer’s books. CVC will hold 40 per cent of the consortium and PAI 30 per cent.

Firth Rixson, a UK-based engineering group owned by US private equity firm The Carlyle Group and Lehman Brothers, has bought Future Tech, a California-based business specialising in the machining of ultra large aerospace components. No terms were disclosed for the transaction.

Telefonica is selling its stake in Dutch TV production company Endemol to a consortium comprising Endemol founder John de Mol, Goldman Sachs, Italian broadcaster Mediaset and its Spanish unit Gestevision Telecino, for €2.6bn The Spanish telecoms group has confirmed that it will sell its 75% interest in Endemol, with the consortium agreeing to make an unconditional bid for the remaining 25% on the public market at a price of at least €25 per share “as soon as possible following the close of this deal”.

• UK catering company Compass has sold its vending machine operation Selecta to German investor Allianz Capital Partners for £772.5m. The price represents 8.5 times the business’ earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation last year. The division made an operating profit, before goodwill amortisation, of £47m on sales of £482m in the year to last September. Compass also said it planned to pay back £500m to investors as part of a share buyback programme. The rest of the cash will reduce the group’s debt.

Apax Partners and Nordic Capital have sold a portfolio of properties owned by Capio, the Swedish healthcare services firm subject to a rare private equity hostile bid last year. According to reports, Apax and Nordic Capital sold a portfolio of 21 hospitals to Presbury, a consortium comprising Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital, Bank of Scotland and Icelandic investor Baugur, for a total consideration of £686m. The properties are to be leased back on a 30-year lease, with initial rent of £39.5m per year. Capio was taken private and de-listed from the Stockholm stock exchange last October after accepting a revised €1.83bn bid from Apax Partners and Nordic Capital