• EQT, a Nordic private equity firm, has bought a majority stake in Danish industrial engineering business Cimbria. Cimbria’s previous owners, the founding Olesen family, will continue to own a “significant” stake and maintain key positions in the company. No terms were disclosed but Cimbria, founded in 1947 and headquartered in Thisted in Denmark, has revenues of DKr1.25bn (US$225m). The business produces machinery and turnkey plants, with 900 employees at subsidiaries and branch offices in 20 countries. Cimbria is EQT’s fourth transaction from its EQT Opportunity Fund, which raised €372m last year for investments in medium-sized businesses that “face problems requiring special expertise to resolve”.
• Risk Capital Partners, the private equity firm run by Luke Johnson, has purchased Birmingham-based Druckers Vienna Patisserie for an undisclosed sum. Johnson, former chairman of Pizza Express and current chairman of the Belgo restaurant chain, will combine Druckers with Patisserie Valerie, a London-based chain of luxury patisseries acquired by Risk Capital Partners in September 2006, also for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 1965, Druckers offers a full range of hand-made Danish and Viennese pastries, cakes and savoury items. Both Druckers and Patisserie Valerie, which had revenues of more than £8m in 2006, will retain their brand names and identities, but will be consolidated into one company. The combined business will have more than 50 branches, with pro forma revenue of £25m and Ebitda of over £3m.
• FL Partners, an Irish investment consortium, is reportedly close to winning the auction for Trinity Mirror’s Racing Post title for less than £190m. Since Trinity Mirror put the title up for sale earlier this year, several potential buyers have been rumoured to be interested.
Most recently, reports suggested that private equity houses Veronis Suhler Stevenson and Exponent Private Equity had teamed up to bid against a rival consortium led by Goldman Sachs. Now it is reported that FL Partners is in the lead to win the title following the exit of another bidder – thought to be the VSS-Exponent pairing. FL Partners’ consortium includes Alan Byrne, a former Racing Post editor, as well as several Irish investors.
• Manchester-based Five Arrows Commercial Finance, part of the NM Rothschild Group, has backed the secondary management buyout of leading paper manufacturer and supplier Curtis Fine Papers in a deal worth £12m.The buyout was led by finance director Robin Paul.
Curtis Fine Papers, based at Guardbridge, St Andrews, has a turnover of £30m with more than 30% of production sold outside the UK. Financial and business adviser Grant Thornton and law firm McClure Naismith assisted in putting the deal together.