News in brief

Valeo, a French listed auto-parts maker, has added to its list of potential bidders following reports that US private equity firm Apollo Management made an approach in March. According to reports in the French press, Paris-based private equity firm PAI Partners and US-based alternative asset manager Cerberus have both made takeover approaches for Valeo, with the former offering between €40 and €44 per share, giving it a valuation of approximately €3.4bn.

Carlyle’s attempts to take private European retail warehouse Freeport hit further problems when the financial investor announced that “there would be a short delay in posting its offer document”. A spokesperson for Carlyle refused to provide clarification on the delay, adding that it was merely for “technical” reasons and should be dealt with in days. The deal has already suffered significant setbacks since Carlyle made its recommended 410p per share offer, valuing Freeport at €228.4m in March, following talks that began at the end of last year and included competition from rival private equity house GI Partners and property investors Kenmore and Golfrate. In February this year Carlyle pulled out of the talks after conducting due diligence and Freeport said that discussions had been “terminated”, only for the deal to be resurrected with Carlyle’s offer last month.

Blackstone is rumoured to have appointed Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley in conjunction with the IPO of Gerresheimer, the German packaging group owned by the US-based buyout firm Blackstone Group, which is targeting proceeds of more than €500m for its IPO this summer, according to reports in the German press.

• UK-based buyout firm Apax Partners is preparing an offer of €50 per Adidas share with the aim of acquiring a 25% stake in the listed German footwear and sports equipment manufacturer, according to an unconfirmed report in the German press. The report points out that Apax managers had argued in favour of taking minority stakes in companies, although the fund manager usually seeks majority participation.

• Blackstone is reportedly in early-stage talks with Spain’s Supermercados El Arbol over a possible joint bid for Caprabo, a Catalan supermarket group. Sources close to the situation say that a deal would see Blackstone taking up to 40% in El Arbol, releasing capital for the grocery chain to make an offer for Caprabo.

• Britain’s largest defence company, BAE Systems, is selling its navigational guidance systems business Inertial Products to specialist US defence private equity firm JF Lehman for €102.8m. JF Lehman, which takes its name from founding partner and chairman John F Lehman, should complete its acquisition by the second half of this year.

• Expected bidders in the auction for Chrysalis’s radio operations have failed to meet a deadline for first-round bids. Bids from Northern Irish television and radio group UTV, as well as several private equity houses, reportedly failed to materialise. However, the groups could put in a bid at a later date. Chrysalis is understood to be looking for offers of between €265m and €300m.