Private equity-backed takeovers subject to EU competition law


Private equity backer (s): Permira

Business description: Independent television production

Deal value: €320m

Notified: 18/08/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 22/09/06

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of All3Media by Permira. All3Media was formed from the acquisition of the Chrysalis TV Group by Bridgepoint and Management in August 2003 and produces UK shows such as Richard and Judy and Hollyoaks. The company includes eight individual TV production companies, all with their own well-known TV brands and covering all major programme genres. All3Media also includes a leading UK talent management agency and its own international distribution company.


Private equity backer (s): Cinven

Business description: Aerospace and defence

Deal value: €2.57bn

Notified: 01/09/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 06/10/06

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by Cinven 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 (s): Permira

Business description: Chemicals

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 09/10/06

Provisional deadline: 15/11/06

Cleared: n/a

First Chemical Holding Vagyonkezelö, controlled by Permira Funds, agreed to acquire Hungarian plastics maker BorsodChem for a reported €814m. The business is owned by Austrian private equity firm Vienna Capital Partners and Firthlion, the Russian investment vehicle owned by entrepreneur Megdet Rahimkulov.

has applied for Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority (HFSA) approval of its public purchase offer for all registered ordinary shares of BorsodChem Nyrt. The proposed offer values BorsodChem’s equity at approximately €850m, based on an offer price per share of HUF3,000. International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Permira on the transaction.

The acceptance period for the public purchase offer will commence following HFSA approval. The offer is conditional upon First Chemical Holding Vagyonkezelö Kft. achieving a minimum acceptance level of more than 50 per cent of the shares in BorsodChem, and on EU competition clearance. Vienna-based VCP Capital Partners will hold a stake in First Chemical Holding Vagyonkezelö Kft. alongside the Permira Funds.

Caudwell Group

Private equity backer (s): Doughty Hanson & Co and Providence Equity Partners

Business description: Mobile telecoms

Deal value: £1.46bn

Notified: 17/08/06

Provisional deadline: 21/09/06

Cleared: n/a

The EU Commission has cleared the acquisition of the Cauldwell Group, the owner of the Phones4U mobile phone high street retailer, by Doughty Hanson and Providence Equity Partners. Under the terms of the deal, Providence Equity Partners will take the Phones4U retail chain, a business-to-business operation and an insurance division called Lifestyle Services. Doughty Hanson will purchase the logistics, handset distribution and mobile phones accessories divisions, including 20:20 Logistics and Dextra.


Private equity backer (s): Bridgepoint

Business description: Media rights owner

Deal value: €400m

Notified: 11/09/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 06/10/06

The EU Commission has cleared the acquisition Dorna, the Spanish sports business that owns the promotional rights for MotoGP, by Bridgepoint 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.”

Fashion Box

Private equity backer (s): BC Partners and Buziol Investment

Business description: Maker of clothes and accessories.

Deal value: Undisclosed

Notified: 11/08/08

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 18/09/06

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Fashion Box Group of Italy by. Canal Investment, controlled by BC Partners and Buziol Investment Soparfi. FBG designs, manufactures and markets casual men’s and women’s wear and accessories. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Pages Jaunes

Private equity backer (s): KKR

Business description: Directories publisher

Deal value: €6.3bn

Notified: 18/08/06

Provisional deadline: n/q

Cleared: 22/09/06

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of Pages Jaunes, a subsidiary of France Telecom. Private equity house KKR bought out France Telecom’s 54% stake in PagesJaunes for €3.3bn and, as the majority shareholder, triggered a takeover bid for the whole company. This transaction is France’s largest leveraged buyout to date. PagesJaunes’ principal activity is the publication of business and public directories and the provision of other services via the internet and minitel. They also provide website creation, hosting and advertising services for businesses, direct marketing and localisation services. It publishes directories


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

Business description: Gaming and betting

Deal value: €515m

Notified: 06/09/06

Provisional deadline: 11/10/06

Cleared: n/a

The European Commission has given the green light to the acquisition of a majority stake in Sisal by Clessidra and JackPot SARL, an entity controlled by Apax , and Permira. 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).

TNT Logistics

Private equity backer (s): Apollo

Business description: Transport services

Deal value: €1.48bn

Notified: 19/09/06

Provisional deadline: 24/10/06

Cleared: n/a

TNT, the Dutch provider of logistics, mail and express, services, has sold its logistics division to Apollo Management of the US. The intended sale is part of TNT’s fstrategy in which the company announced it would focus on its core competency of managing delivery networks. The total transaction value is €1.48bn on a cash and debt free basis, of which €15m will be received in the form of a 5% equity stake in the new company.

Vinci Airport Services

Private equity backer (s): LBO France

Business description: Airport services

Deal value: €315m

Notified: 11/09/06

Provisional deadline: n/a

Cleared: 16/10/06

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of Vinci by LBO France. Vinci’s business in airport services employs 11,000 people and generated revenue of €505m in 2005. Operations are mainly in Europe and the United States in the airline company services sector.

Source: EVCJ