Private equity-backed takeovers subject to EU competition law

Avio Cinven

Private equity backer: Cinven

Business description: Aerospace and defence

Deal value: €2.57bn

Notified: 01/09/06

Provisional deadline: 06/10/06

Cleared: n/a

Cinven intends to acquire sole control of Aero Invest 1. Aero is an Italian company indirectly controlling Avio, which in turn controls a group of companies operating in the aerospace and defence industry. Cinven announced the acquisition in August from Carlyle and Finmeccanica – Società per Azioni for an enterprise value of €2.57bn.


Private equity backer: BC Partners

Business description: Chemicals distributor

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 31/07/07

Provisional deadline: 05/09/06

Cleared: n/a

BC Partners acquired Brenntag, a German chemicals distributor, from Bain Capital. Terms were not disclosed. The company operates in 50 countries and supplies industrial and specialty chemicals to many industries in the manufacturing sector. It has 9,200 employees and achieved sales of almost €5.3bn in 2005. BC Partners is investing through special purpose vehicle CIE Management II Limited.

Casema and Multikabel

Private equity backer(s): Cinven and Warburg Pincus

Business description: Cable operators

Deal value: €2.85bn

Notified: 01/08/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 06/09/06

The European Commission has the proposed acquisition by Cinven and Warburg Pincus of joint control over the Dutch cable operators Casema Holding and Multikabel. The Commission has found that Casema and Multikabel have only marginal overlapping activities in the markets for broadband Internet access, retail distribution of fixed telephony services, leased lines and in the emerging market for multiple play offers that are not liable to raise any competition concerns. Casema’s and Multikabel’s main activity is to acquire from broadcasters distribution rights over their radio and TV channels (the wholesale market) and to distribute these channels via their cable networks to viewers (the downstream market). The Commission’s examination of the wholesale market showed that given Multikabel’s comparatively small subscriber base, the proposed transaction would not result in a substantial change of the market structure. The examination of the relevant retail market did not give rise to competition concerns as Casema’s and Multikabel’s respective distribution areas do not overlap.


Private equity backer: Bridgepoint

Business description: Sports media rights owner

Deal value: €400m

Notified: 11/09/06

Provisional deadline: 16/10/06

Cleared: n/a

Bridgepoint is to buy Dorna, the Spanish sports business that owns the promotional rights for MotoGP, from CVC for an undisclosed sum, although reports have put the figure at €400m. Bridgepoint is reported to have fought off interest from Advent, Apax Partners, Lion Capital, PAI Partners and Permira in the auction. CVC acquired a 71% interest in the company in 1998 for around £78m but was forced by the European Commission to sell its shareholding after it bought SLEC, the owner of the Formula One Group, for £583m in March this year. Dorna, as well as being the promoter of the Moto GP motorcycle Championship, is also responsible for the FIM Supercross World Championship, the Spanish Road Racing Championship and the British Superbike Championship.By selling Dorna, the Commission concluded that CVC’s Formula One transaction would not cause competition concerns. Neelie Kroes, competition commissioner, said: “When the two most popular motor sport events in the EU, Formula One and Moto GP, come into the hands of one owner, there is a risk of price increases for the TV rights to these events and a reduction in consumer choice.”

ICA Meny

Private equity backer: Nordic Capital

Business description: Consumer good wholesaler

Deal value:

Notified: 03/08/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 08/09/06

The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of sole control of ICA Meny , a Swedish wholesaler of consumer goods, by private equity fund Nordic Capital, by way of purchase of shares. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. One of Nordic Capital’s portfolio companies is Leaf International, a sugar confectionery manufacturer and supplier of ICA Meny. The proposed acquisition would create a vertical link between ICA Meny and Leaf International which could affect the Swedish market. However, the Commission has concluded that ICA Meny’s market share on the Swedish wholesale market and Leaf’s market share on the Swedish confectionery market would not be sufficient to raise concerns about actual or potential competitors being denied access to this market. Furthermore, both companies will continue to face competition from a number of competitors active in the same markets in Sweden.


Private equity backer(s): Clessidra, Apax Partners and Permira

Business description: Gaming and betting

Deal value: €515m

Notified: 06/09/06

Provisional deadline: 11/10/06

Cleared: n/a

In August 2006, investment funds advised by Clessidra and JackPot SARL, an entity controlled by Apax , and Permira entered into an agreement with the intention to acquire a majority stake in Sisal. Sisal is a private Italian company which is active in the field of management of gaming and betting and other services (e.g. mobile phone recharges, payments, etc).


Private equity backer: Blackstone

Business description: Travel distribution service provider

Deal value: €3.3bn

Notified: 14/07/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 22/08/06

The acquisition of Travelport, the travel distribution brands and businesses, by TDS Investor, an affiliate of TDS Investor (Bermuda) 3 Ltd., itself a controlled subsidiary of Blackstone, has been approved by the European Commission. The deal is valued at approximately €3.3bn. Travelport includes Galileo, a global distribution system, Gulliver’s Travel Associates, a wholesaler and global online provider of hotels, destination services, travel packages and group tours; and online travel agencies including ebookers and Orbitz.

Worldwide Flight Services

Private equity backer: LBO France

Business description: Airport services

Deal value: €315m

Notified: 11/09/06

Provisional deadline: 16/10/06

Cleared: n/a

LBO France is to acquire Worldwide Flight Services from Vinci. The target is an airport services group, which focuses on the cargo sector.