News in brief

• A Duke Street Capital-led consortium has completed the acquisition of CI Traders, a UK-listed retail and leisure business, for an enterprise value of £401m (€592.4m). In late June, Duke Street, European real estate fund manager Europa Capital and HBOS paid 100p in cash for each CI Traders share. CI Traders shareholders representing more than 94% of the shares voted at a meeting to accept the offer by Sandpiper, the consortium’s investment vehicle.

• Freight and ferry business Irish Continental Group said today that Aella, the business owned by ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell, has agreed on the terms of a recommended revised offer for ICG at €24 per share in cash, which values ICG at €611.8m. The offer represents a 29.7% premium to Aella’s original offer which valued ICG at €560.9m. The company said the offer represents a 9.1% premium to the offer from Moonduster, an acquisition vehicle of investor One Fifty One Capital. Both bidders owned substantial stakes in the Irish ferry business and as neither would give way to the other’s offer, it led to a stalemate situation. On August 3, ICG said it would walk away from both offers unless the situation was resolved. Moonduster, which controls the voting of about 20.38% of Irish Continental, announced the terms of a recommended cash offer of €22 per share for the company on June 14.

• French IT services business GFI Informatique, which had been the subject of a failed Fujitsu bid, is appointing Apax to its board. Jacques Tordjman, chairman of GFI Informatique, said he plans to offer 15% shareholder Apax Partners one or two seats on the board following the failure of Fujitsu’s €8.50 per share bid for the French IT services group.

• The chief executive of Imprint, who is leading the attempt by management to buy out the AIM-listed recruitment company, has scotched market rumours that private equity firm Alchemy Partners is wavering over making a formal offer. Alchemy’s indicative offer values Imprint at £79.5m (€117.4m). The deal is considered opportunistic as it is 31% below Imprint’s 52-week high of 303p.

• US private equity fund Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and UK financial sponsor Apax Partners, are reported to be close to finalising a deal to buy part of the founder’s stake in India’s Patni Computers Systems. An agreement between one of the private equity players and two Patni brothers — Ashok and Gajendra — who hold 29% in the IT services company, is expected to be signed next month.

• Credit crunch threatens yet another deal as loans for TV producer takeover run into trouble Banks behind the debt in the €2.3bn takeover of Dutch TV production company Endemol have reportedly been unable to syndicate the loans. Endemol is being bought from Telefonica by a consortium comprising Mediaset, company founder John de Mol and Goldman Sachs.