news in brief

Barclays Private Equity, a mid-market private equity house, has backed a £66m (€94m) buy-out of Camden Corporate Fleet Services, an acquisitive fleet management business. The deal sees Barclays Private Equity take a majority stake in the company in return for its £27m investment. Landsbanki Islands and National Australia Bank are providing £42m-worth of banking facilities.CCFS provides services such as vehicle delivery and management to customers including car rental firms and insurance courtesy car providers. In June 2007, the company bought rival business Inchcape Automotive. Advisers working on the deal include PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, DLA Piper, Liberty Corporate Finance, Blenheim Advisors and LEK.

• Mid-market private equity house LDC has made an equity investment to fund the continuing expansion of Intercontinental Brands, manufacturer of leading beverages such as St Helier pear cider, Vodkat light spirit and “The Italian Job” wine range. The Harrogate-based business distributes over 260 alcoholic and non-alcoholic products to supermarket chains, specialist off-licence groups and independent retailers. Its in-house mixing and bottling facility in Middlesbrough employs over 100 people and produces nearly three million cases per annum. The facility is also a research and development centre which enables the business to produce bespoke beverages capable of being on the shelf four weeks after conception. The Yorkshire office of LDC has taken a minority stake in the business and the investment will be used to drive strategic acquisitions and broaden its European distribution base. The transaction is being supported by the acquisition finance team within Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets which has provided senior debt and working capital facilities.

Sovereign Capital has announced the acquisition of Orient Gold, a national provider of apprenticeship and adult learning, by portfolio company STL, for an undisclosed sum. Orient Gold, founded in 1996, delivers Train to Gain and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Apprenticeship training to over 800 young people in their place of work. The business specialises in the Retail (Customer Service and Team Leading) and Food and Drink sectors. Orient Gold’s national key accounts include the retail clothing chain Ted Baker, specialist PC and video games retailer Game Group, car parts and accessories retailer Motorworld and the Real Hotel Company which comprises Comfort, Quality, Sleep Inn and Clarion hotels. The new combined group has over 240 employees and over 3000 people across England benefit from their training programmes. Sovereign first backed STL in November 2006 though a management buy-out. Since then the STL has been busy implementing Sovereign’s ‘buy & build’ strategy of organic and acquisitive growth.