UK sponsors CVC, BC Partners to bid for French catering firm Elior

UK private equity firms CVC Capital Partners Ltd and BC Partners intend to make a joint bid for Elior SCA, valuing the French catering firm at EUR3.5bn (USD4.7bn), including debt, the Financial Times reported citing insiders.

Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, which currently owns 62.3% of Elior, originally planned to sell only the French firm’s EUR2bn catering unit, but according to knowledgeable sources, it would choose to divest the entire business.

Elior was bought via a EUR2.5bn take-private transaction in 2006. Its co-founder Robert Zolade holds 24.7% of the company, Chequers Capital owns an interest of 7.8%, while several other investors hold the rest of the shares. Elior posted revenues of EUR4.2bn and EBITDA of EUR362m in the fiscal year to 30 September 2012.

Together with its advisors, the vendor is working with banks on a debt package of over EUR2bn (USD2.6bn) to back the purchase of the entire company, the sources said, adding that Charterhouse sought to draw interest from other bidders before launching a formal auction.

Japanese retailer Aeon hires banks to advise on Matahari deal

Japanese retailer Aeon Company Ltd (TYO:8267) and Thai The Central Group have appointed investment banks as advisors on a possible bid for Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Department Store, a portfolio company of UK private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd, Reuters reported Friday, quoting unidentified sources in the know.

Central Group would act via a unit, Reuters said.

The investment company aims to sell the Indonesian retailer for as much as USD3.5bn (EUR2.6bn), the insiders told the agency.

According to a report by Reuters of October 2012, CVC had hired banks to help it offload its 80% interest in the Indonesian company.

CVC may also proceed with a public placement of its shares in Matahari if there are no suitors for the business before a tentative March deadline, Reuters noted. The private equity firm is pondering a share sale to institutional investors, which may fetch up to USD1.5bn, the sources told the agency.

CVC did not wish to comment on the matter, when reached by Reuters, while the tipped potential suitors denied plans for buying PT Matahari.

UK private equity firm CVC acquires Italian information group Cerved

UK-based private equity major CVC Capital Partners Ltd said it had agreed to buy Italian business information provider Cerved Group SpA for EUR1.13bn (USD1.5bn).

The vendors are US buyout firm Bain Capital LLC and Italy’s Clessidra SGR SpA. The buyer said that Credit Suisse AG (NYSE:CRP), Deutsche Bank AG (FRA:DBK) and HSBC (LON:HSBA) would provide committed financing for the deal.

The target offers credit and business information to over 30,000 clients, including 90% of Italian banks. It generated sales of EUR292m in 2012 with a staff of 1,020.

The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

CVC took counsel from Deutsche Bank, Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ), Eidos Partners srl, Chiomenti Studio Legale, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Bain and Company Inc, Ernst & Young LLP and Studio Tributario Associato Facchini Rossi Scarioni.

Bain Capital and Clessidra were advised by HSBC, Banca Intesa SpA, Gattai Minoli & Partners, Kirkland & Ellis, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, McKinsey & Company Inc, Capital Market Initiatives, Studio Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati and Vitali Romagnoli Piccardi e Associati.

UK sponsor CVC acquires majority stake in US insurance claims firm Cunningham

British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd said it had agreed to take a majority stake in US insurance claims management firm Cunningham Lindsey Group Limited, currently owned by Stone Point Capital LLC and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (TSE:FFH).

The parties did not disclose the price CVC would pay for the majority ownership, but Reuters cited an informed source as saying that the deal valued Cunningham at as much as USD1bn (EUR774.5m).

Stone Point bought in 2007 a majority stake in the over 100-year old Cunningham, with Fairfax keeping a significant minority position. The target firm has now around 7,000 staff operating in 61 countries. Its current management team led by CEO Philippe Bes will stay in place after the deal with CVC, while Bes will join Cunningham’s board. The management team will remain substantial shareholder, backing the firm’s plans for future global growth. Stone Point will also continue to be an equity owner alongside Fairfax and CVC, it said.

Bes welcomed the deal saying it would help his company’s ongoing efforts to expand and boost its position in key insurance markets. Cunningham will be able to use CVC’s diversified international coverage to widen its global footprint, the CEO added.

The transaction is being carried out under a recapitalisation agreement. CVC plans to bring its global network and resources to Cunningham to enable it to continue its growth, Kamil Salame, CVC partner and chief of US Financial Institutions Group, mentioned in a comment. The private equity firm will use secured debt to finance the transaction.

Completion is pending regulatory approvals among other conditions.

Cunningham Lindsey used the advisory services of BofA Merrill Lynch and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. CVC was advised by Willis Capital Markets and Advisory Ltd, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Clifford Chance LLP.

UK sponsor CVC to exit Danish personal care retailer Matas

British private equity firm CVC has engaged Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Nordea Bank AB (STO:NDA-SEK) to assist it with the sale of its Danish personal care retail chain Matas which could bring in between EUR600m (USD743m) and EUR800m, according to informed sources cited by Reuters on Friday.

The sale process is expected to be launched after the summer, two people told the news agency.

Funds managed by CVC bought Matas in 2007. The retailer sells branded beauty products, over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, dietary supplements and household goods through 300 stores. The company, which generates two thirds of its annual sales from beauty products, has some 1,800 employees in total, according to its website.

Meanwhile, Nordic fund manager Altor Equity Partners is also looking for buyers interested in its Eurocater food supply firm in Sweden for which it wants over EUR500m, Reuters’ sources said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co has been retained to manage the sale process, the people said.

Eurocater offers food and nonfood products to restaurants, hotels, caterers and other professional kitchens. According to its website, Altor Fund II owns it in a 50/50 partnership with the management of Danish food distributor Dansk Cater.

Established in Deceber 2006, Eurocater has 34 distribution and two cash & carry sites in Denmark and Sweden.

Sponsor Montagu sells Germany’s BSN to rival EQT for €1.8bn — report

Swedish private equity investor EQT Partners AB has emerged victorious in the competition for German woundcare products specialist BSN Medical GmbH, the Financial Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

EQT has trumped rival bids from French investment company Wendel SA (EPA:MF) and the CVC Capital Partners Ltd-BC Partners Ltd tandem with an offer of EUR1.82bn (USD2.28bn).

BSN has been the property of Montagu Private Equity LLP since 2005, when the UK buyout firm took over the Hamburg-based business through an investment of EUR1bn, the FT said.

The newspaper went on to add that the deal offered fresh proof of private equity interest in healthcare companies, whose area of operation makes them relatively immune to recessions.

BSN was established in 2001 as a joint venture between German personal care products manufacturer Beiersdorf AG (ETR:BEI) and UK medical devices maker Smith & Nephew Plc (LON:SN). The company produces bandages, casts, splints, adhesive tapes and woundcare compresses.

It has a workforce of over 4,000 and its 2011 revenues amounted to EUR665m. According to the FT article, investors have recently become increasingly interested in the woundcare segment because of improving technology and rising demand for wound treatment due to the growing number of diabetes patients.

Before putting BSN on the block, Montagu had been considering an initial public offering for the business in 2010. However, the market turmoil interfered with those plans. Two years earlier, Montagu had given thought to an outright sale, the FT said.