Private equity-backed takeovers subject to EU competition law


Private equity backer (s): GIMV and NPM Capital

Business description: News agency

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 18/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 19/07/07

Belgian mid-market firm GIMV and NPM Capital are to acquire Dutch news agency ANP, each taking a 43.75% stake. ANP management will hold the remaining 12.5%.


Private equity backer (s): Doughty Hanson

Business description: Distributor of telecommunication equipment

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 06/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 05/07/07

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of AxCom AB, a Nordic telecoms provider, by private equity group 20:20 Mobile Group, owned by Doughty Hanson. AxCom, operating in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Hong Kong, distributes mobile handsets, accessories and fixed-line products. It has about 32% of the Nordic market.

Bavaria Yachtbau

Private equity backer (s): Bain Capital

Business description: Yacht manufacturer

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 04/07/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 31/07/07

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by Bain Capital Beteiligungsberatung of Bavaria Yachtbau alongside the company’s founder and long-time managing director Winfried Herrmann. Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH is one of the largest yacht manufacturers. In the fiscal year 2005/2006 (ended 31 July), the shipyard produced about 3,500 yachts at its location in Giebelstadt with a staff of approximately 620, and had sales of approximately €271m.

Bulgarian Telecommunications Company

Private equity backer (s): AIG Capital Partners

Business description: Telecoms operator

Deal value: €1.08bn

Notified: 12/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 27/07/07

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company by AIG Capital Partners. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) operates a fixed and mobile data and other telecommunication networks and data systems in Bulgaria. As AIG Capital Partners does not have any telecommunications operations in its portfolio in the EEA and BTC is only active in the telecom sector, the proposed transaction would create no overlaps between the parties’ activities.


Private equity backer (s): Apollo Group

Business description: Freight forwarding services

Deal value: US$2bn

Notified: 14/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 16/07/07

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of EGL, Inc of the US by CEVA Group Logistics Plc of the UK , controlled by the private equity fund Apollo Group of the US. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

CEVA provides domestic and cross border contract logistics services. EGL offers domestic and international air and sea freight forwarding services and domestic land freight forwarding services. EGL has also minor, ancillary activities in contract logistics services.

The Commission’s investigation found that the parties’ combined market shares in the relevant markets for freight forwarding and contract logistics services would be very limited. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction would not give rise to competition concerns.

Electro-Stock Grup

Private equity backer (s): Apax Partners

Business description: Electrical components distributor

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 05/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 10/07/07

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Electro-Stock Grup SL (ESG) of Spain by Apax Partners Worldwide LLP (Apax) of the UK. Apax provides private equity fund advisory and management services to funds investing primarily in Europe in a range of industrial sectors. ESG distributes electrical components in Spain, primarily to electrical installers and builders. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Eltel Networks

Private equity backer (s): 3i

Business description: Electricity and telecommunications network services outsourcing

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 06/07/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 07/08/07

3i has agreed to invest in Eltel Networks, a Nordic electricity and telecommunications network services outsourcing business, from Industri Kapital, TeliaSonera and management. Eltel designs, builds, maintains and enhances networks for the telecommunications and electricity sectors. The business, based in Espoo, Finland, operates across the Nordic region and Poland, serving clients such as TeliaSonera, Telenor, Vattenfall and Fortum. It generated €756m in sales last year and is managed along two business segments, field services and large projects.


Private equity backer (s): Terra Firma

Business description: Music group

Deal value: £2.4bn

Notified: 08/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 11/07/07

The European Commission has approved Terra Firma’s £2.4bn bid for UK music group EMI. At time of writing, the British private equity firm owned 26.2% of EMI.

Gambro Healthcare

Private equity backer (s): Bridgepoint

Business description: Dialysis care services

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 23/05/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 26/06/07

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of Gambro Healthcare, the dialysis care services division of Swedish Gambro Group, the global medical technology company, by European private equity firm Bridgepoint from EQT and Investor for an undisclosed sum. The business is the second largest corporate provider of dialysis care services in Europe with 155 clinics in 14 countries serving 12,000 patients and with ancillary businesses in South America and Australia. In the current year to 31 December 2007, Gambro Healthcare is expected to generate turnover of SEK2.3bn (€246m) and EBITDA of SEK446m (€48m). It was formerly part of the Gambro Group which was the subject of a €4.3bn take private from the Stockholm Stock Exchange in July 2006.


Private equity backer (s): Investcorp

Business description: Producer of roofing and waterproofing membranes

Deal value: €850m

Notified: 26/06/07

Provisional deadline: 31/07/07

Cleared: n/a

Investcorp, the Bahrain-based asset management firm specializing in alternative investments, has agreed to acquire Icopal, a manufacturer and provider of roofing products and installation services, €850m on a debt-free basis. Icopal will be acquired from a consortium comprising Axcel, Denmark’s largest private equity fund, Carlisle Companies Inc, a US diversified manufacturing company, Kirkbi, the Danish private equity fund, and FIH the leading Danish corporate bank.

Icopal’s products are used by the non-residential construction market across Europe, with an increasing focus on the high growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Icopal is also an installer of flat and metal roofs and façades in the Nordic countries, and also offers a range of roofing accessories and construction materials. Icopal’s products are predominantly sold to building material merchants, independent roofing contractors and Icopal’s own contracting business, and to a limited extent to DIY retailers. It has 32 manufacturing sites located throughout Europe and the United States, a turnover of approximately €900m and employs some 4,000 people. Icopal was taken private from the Copenhagen Stock Exchange in July 2000.

Kaufman & Broad

Private equity backer (s): PAI Partners

Business description: Real estate developer

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 05/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 05/07/07

The European Commission has approved the purchase of French real estate business Kaufman & Broad by private equity firm PAI Partners. PAI has offered €50.17 per share for a 50.28% stake in the company.

Klockner Pentaplast

Private equity backer (s): Blackstone

Business description: Producer of plastic films for packaging

Deal value: €1.3bn

Notified: 23/05/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 28/06/07

The European Commission has given the greenlight to Cinven’s and JPMorgan Partners’s sale of Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), a manufacturer of rigid plastic films, to an affiliate of The Blackstone Group for €1.3bn , an 8x multiple of pro-forma EBITDA. Cinven and JPMorgan Partners acquired kp in 2001. In that time its revenues have grown from €833m in FY2001 to €1.2bn in FY2006 and the number of employees from 3,100 in 2001 to more than 3,700.

Klöckner Pentaplast is the world’s leading producer of rigid plastic films. Founded in 1965 in Montabaur (Germany), the company operates globally from 21 manufacturing sites in 11 countries on four continents, using a range of polymers and production processes.

Powermill Service Group

Private equity backer (s): Segulah and CapMan

Business description: IT provider

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 03/07/07

Provisional deadline: 07/08/07

Cleared: n/a

Powermill Service Group, a Swedish IT, telecom and consumer electronics support provider owned by Segulah, is to merge with InfoCare Holding, owned by CapMan. Following completion of the deal, the new entity will be jointly controlled by Segulah and CapMan.


Private equity backer (s): Allianz Capital Partners, 3i and Deutsche Seereederei

Business description: Ferry operator

Deal value: €1.56bn

Notified: 16/07/07

Provisional deadline: 21/08/07

Cleared: n/a

Denmark’s ministry of transport and energy and Deutsche Bahn have sold ferry operator Scandlines AG for €1.56n to a consortium consisting of Allianz Capital Partners GmbH, 3i Group and Deutsche Seereederei GmbH. Scandlines is the largest ferry operator in the southern part of the Baltic Sea, and has been run as a 50-50 joint venture between Deutsche Bahn and the Danish state.


Private equity backer (s): Candover

Business description: Food mixer manufacturer

Deal value: €1.5bn

Notified: 23/07/07

Provisional deadline: 28/08/07

Cleared: n/a

London Acquisition B.V., a holding company controlled by funds managed and advised by, or affiliated with, Candover, is currently battling it out with Stork shareholders over control of the company. The board of Stork had agreed a €47 per share offer but Icelandic food processing equipment maker Marel has now built up a 20% stake, prompting speculation of a rival bid and pushing up share prices.


Private equity backer (s): Advent International

Business description: Fashion discount chain

Deal value: €770m

Notified: 13/07/07

Provisional deadline: 20/08/07

Cleared: n/a

Advent International has acquired a majority stake in German fashion discount chain, Takko. The business is being acquired from private equity group Permira for a total consideration of €770m. The acquisition has been made in partnership with Takko’s management team led by its managing director, Arnold Mattschull. The company currently operates 1,059 stores, of which 836 are located in Germany, and employs some 9,000 people worldwide. Outside Germany, Takko has a rapidly growing international presence with 210 stores in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Hungary and Slovakia. The company also operates 13 stores via franchise agreements in Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. For financial year 2007/2008, the company forecasts sales of approximately €800m, up 10% from financial year 2006/2007.

Telenor Satellite Services

Private equity backer (s): Apax Partners France

Business description: Satellite communications

Deal value: €289m

Notified: 13/07/07

Provisional deadline: 20/08/07

Cleared: n/a

Telenor has entered into a definitive agreement with Apax Partners France for the sale of Telenor Satellite Services (TSS) to funds managed by Apax Partners for a cash consideration of US$400m (NOK2,640m). Since 2002 Telenor has defined Telenor Satellite Services as non-core business. Apax Partners intends to pursue the development of the company in Norway and abroad. Telenor Satellite Services offers communication solutions via satellite to land, air and sea. The transaction will not impact the services provided by TSS and business relations with customers will remain unchanged.


Private equity backer (s): Nordic Capital

Business description: Sports utility transportation

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 15/06/07

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 20/07/07

Nordic Capital Fund VI has signed an agreement to acquire the Thule Group from Candover. Thule is a market leader in sports utility transportation solutions with current pro forma revenues of €721m including recent acquisitions. The business is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden and has approx 4,000 employees at over 30 production and sales locations on all major car markets in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Wrist Group

Private equity backer (s): Altor

Business description: Supplier of bunker fuel

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 26/06/07

Provisional deadline: 31/07/07

Cleared: n/a

Danish bunker fuel and ship supply company Wrist Group A/S has been sold to the Nordic private equity fund Altor. Wrist Group is one of the leading global suppliers of bunker fuel and general ship supplies with revenues in 2006 of approximately DKK 25 billion. The Group employs some 850 persons worldwide and has headquarters in Aalborg, Denmark.