TPG Capital enters race for London Stansted airport — report

US private equity major TPG Capital LP has entered the bidding race for Stansted, the London airport owned by BAA Airports Limited, the Financial Times reported citing sources familiar with the talks.

TPG is competing in the first bidding round against Australian financial services provider Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) and a consortium made up of The Manchester Airport Group Plc (MAG) and another Australian entity – Industry Funds Management. Stansted, the third biggest airport in London, is estimated to be worth GBP1bn (USD1.6bn/EUR1.2bn), the FT said.

According to several sources, MAG is the contender with the strongest chances of emerging victorious from the battle but TPG has its strengths as well. The US investor has its roots in the aviation industry having been created in the wake of Continental Airlines Inc’s rescue from bankruptcy. TPG has maintained its involvement with the sector and its co-founder David Bonderman is chairman of the board of Ryanair Holdings Plc (LON:RYA). The latter is the holding company for Irish-based budget carrier Ryanair Ltd, which is also Stansted’s top customer.

BAA was forced to put Stansted up for sale in the summer after the failure of its final attempt to reverse a Competition Commission ruling. The operator was instructed in 2009 to sell three airports as part of a decision to break up its monopoly, the FT reminded.

The newspaper went on to add that BAA and its majority owner, Spanish transport infrastructure company Ferrovial SA (MCE:FER), are expected to provide bidders with further details this week. The contestants are expected to receive information regarding the deadline for their second-round bids. According to the article, sufficient airport operating experience will be a prerequisite for making the shortlist.

French Rexel boosts US presence with €300m deal to acquire Platt

French electrical supplies distributor Rexel SA (EPA:RXL) on Wednesday said it had agreed to take over US sector player Platt Electric Supply Inc for an enterprise value of some EUR300m (USD382m), in line with strategy to boost market share in its key markets.

The deal will enhance Rexel presence in the US and increase to over 10% its share of the key market in western US which is expected to register a faster growth that the overall US sector, the buyer said.

The addition is expected to contribute to the buyer’s earnings by the end of next year.

Rexel’s chairman and CEO Rudy PROVOOS sees Platt Electric Supply as a strong strategic and geographic fit for the group’s US operations, he said, adding that the combination would generate substantial value for Rexel and its shareholders.

Platt Electric Supply’s president Jeff Baker will also assume the position of CEO for the company as well as that of vice president of Rexel Inc, a local unit of Rexel SA.

Completion is expected in early July, subject to customary conditions.

Oregon-based Platt Electric Supply operates 111 branches in seven US states and two logistics centres. It had sales of around EUR310m last year when it employed about 1,000. It supplies electrical contractors, industrial facilities and commercial businesses with electrical and energy efficiency products and services.

Rexel has US units Rexel Inc and Gexpro combining nearly 300 branches across the country. The US operations generated more than EUR2.5bn in sales last year.