news in brief

Private equity firm Apax Partners has agreed to back a management buyout of Faceo, a European facilities management group, from joint shareholders Cegelec and Thales. Headquartered in France, Faceo provides various real estate services including property management, cleaning and security. Clients include Nestlé, Siemens and France Telecom. The deal will be financed through equity, senior debt arranged by Société Générale and mezzanine debt from Indigo. Serge Clemente, co-manager of Faceo, said the deal will allow the group to expand via further deals: “Thanks to the support of Apax Partners, we will be in a position to see through an ambitious development programme and grasp the best opportunities in terms of acquisitions, be they in France or in Europe to reach critical size.” Cegelec, an electrical engineering group, says the sale will allow it to focus on new acquisitions, as it saw Faceo as a non-core division.

Cinven is thought to be lead bidder for media group’s B2B and consumer magazine businesses Speculation continues over the bidders for parts of media group Emap’s business following last weeks deadline for first round offers. Apparently Cinven has made bids for the group’s business-to-business and consumer magazine divisions. It is thought that Exponent has made a bid for the group’s specialist magazine titles, while Apax Partners has also shown interest in its business-to-business arm. The news follows yesterday’s talk that Phil Riley, former chief executive of Chrysalis Radio, could make a £400m bid for Emap’s radio stations with private equity firm Vitruvian Partners.

• AIM-listed retailer Monsoon again faces a takeover approach from the founding Simon family after chairman Peter Simon has made a 424p a share cash offer for the 858-store chain though his vehicle Drillgreat. Simon originally tried to take the group, in which his family has over three quarters of the shares, private in late 2005. But this attempt failed. The latest offer is being made via a scheme of arrangement. This requires 75% of shareholders to accept the proposals at a specially convened EGM. In theory therefore, it should be waived through. However, the family shareholders cannot vote at the EGM to approve the scheme, making it potentially more likely that unhappy shareholders can vote it down. And there is likely to be some disgruntlement from minority shareholders as the £755m (€1.1bn) offer is set at just a 4% premium to Monsoon’s recent closing price.