HM Treasury allocates £200m to Pru for UK middle market investments

The investment management unit of international financial services group Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU), Prudential Capital Group, said that UK economics and finance ministry Her Majesty’s Treasury has allocated GBP 200m (about USD 323m) of a total GBP 700m (about USD 1.1bn) to the firm as part of a partnership to make more capital available to mid-sized UK businesses.

According to Pru , the GBP 200m was allocated to the Pricoa Sterling Fund, which, consistent with the objectives of the public/private partnership, will invest in debt securities of UK companies with less than GPB500m in annual revenue.

The funds will be invested alongside the advisor’s parent and other institutional investors.

Prudential Capital Group said it has lending relationships with more than 1,000 companies and manages a portfolio of more than USD 65bn globally, including USD 10bn managed for non-affiliated investors, as of September 30, 2012.

HM Treasury launched the initiative, called the Business Finance Partnership, earlier this year to increase the supply of capital through non-bank lending channels and to help diversify capital sources.

The UK chancellor’s Autumn Statement announced the investment of GBP 700m toward the creation of five new funds that will lend to mid-sized companies.

For more information, visit www.news.prudential.com.

Dutch chemical group AkzoNobel disposes of North American decorative paints unit for $1bn

Dutch paints, coatings and chemicals group AkzoNobel NV (AMS:AKZA) on Friday said it would sell its decorative paints business in North America to US sector player PPG Industries Inc (NYSE:PPG) in a deal worth USD1.05bn (EUR801.1m).

Following a successful four-year turnaround, AkzoNobel decided to shed the Decorative Paints North America unit, in line with strategy to focus on key European markets and its solid positions in growth regions, it said.

For its part, the buyer sees the acquisition to continue its rapid portfolio transformation strategy via growth of its coatings operations, PPG chairman and CEO Charles E Bunch noted. The move also increases the company’s scale in the paint market in North America, the CEO added.

The business to be divested had revenues of USD1.5bn last year, 5,000 employees and eight manufacturing sites. Its portfolio includes brands such as Glidden in the US and Sico in Canada. The vendor will use the USD875m cash proceeds from the sale to finance organic growth and reduce net debt, it said.

AkzoNobel is still present in North America through its Performance Coatings and Specialty Chemicals businesses, which combined sales of more than USD2.7bn and nearly 5,000 employees in 2011.

Mexican Coca Cola bottler Femsa acquires Coca Cola bottling unit in Philippines for $689m

Coca-Cola Femsa SAB de CV (MXK:KOFL), the bottler of Coca Cola in Mexico, said on Friday it would pay USD688.5m (EUR525.3m) in cash to buy 51% in The Coca-Cola Company’s (NYSE:KO) bottling unit in the Philippines.

The deal, which allows Coca-Cola Femsa to expand beyond Latin America, gives the buyer the option to purchase the remaining 49% in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc (CCBPI) at any time within the next six years.

Coca-Cola Femsa will increase its exposure to fast-growing emerging economies with this acquisition, expecting profitable growth and long-term returns in these economies, it said.

The transaction, reflecting an enterprise value of USD1.35bn for CCBPI, is seen to wrap up in early 2013.

CCBPI runs 23 production plants, serving nearly 800,000 customers and is expected to sell some 530m unit cases of beverages in 2012.

The buyer’s advisors include Allen & Company LLC, Rothschild, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan.