US private equity sponsor Ceberus exits Guilford Mills in $257m deal

US private equity major Cerberus Capital Management LP said it had completed its exit from Guilford Mills Inc, selling the North Carolina-based manufacturer of automotive and speciality fabrics for USD257m (EUR205m).

The business was acquired by Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA), the US automotive industry supplier of seating and electrical power management systems. The transaction, which was conducted through a Cerberus affiliate, was finalised on 31 May 2012. The private equity group bought Guilford in 2004.

Dev Kapadia, managing director at Cerberus, said that his company was pleased with the closure of the sale, which places Guilford under the wing of a world-class corporation. The deal with Lear represents the achievement of a key objective for Cerberus since it leaves Guilford in the hands of a market-leading enterprise.

Under the ownership of Lear, Guilford will be able to reach new heights in terms of performance and success. This has proved a good investment for Cerberus, which is proud of its contribution to Guilford’s achievements over the course of their partnership, Kapadia stated.

Guilford’s former chairman Chan Galbato said that the support provided by Cerberus had helped Guilford become a market leader in the automotive and specialty fabrics business. The partnership had made it possible for Guilford to streamline production, launch best-in-class products and assemble an exceptionally strong management team, Galbato added.

London-listed Misys secures anti-trust approval for takeover by Vista Equity

British banking software specialist Misys plc (LON:MSY) on Monday said it had secured anti-trust approval in Portugal for its takeover by US private equity and venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners and therefore the scheme court hearing will now take place on 28 May.

The hearing was delayed from 10 May as the two parties could not secure clearance in Portugal for their deal in time to meet this deadline, Misys explained.

The company’s independent directors announced the agreement with Vista on 19 March, saying the buyout firm would pay GBP3.50 (USD5.62/EUR4.40) a share for the British company, or some GBP1.27bn in total. The directors said the transaction provided Misys shareholders with certainty in cash, while acknowledging the company’s organic growth potential.

Subject to court approval and other conditions, the acquisition will complete on 1 June this year. Vista, which has said it would use equity and debt financing to fund the transaction, is expected to settle the payment for Misys by 14 June.

The private equity group plans to combine Misys with trade and risk management software provider Turaz to form a top global provider of financial services solutions with 1,700 customers around the world, it has said, adding it would delist the target after the deal.

Misys has some 4,200 employees and works with over 100 partners globally serving customers in more than 120 countries. It has a client base of over 1,300, including all the top 50 banks worldwide.

Sponsor Altor exits Dutch Meyn Food via sale to Berkshire-controlled CTB

Altor Equity Partners said on Friday that its Altor 2003 Fund had struck an agreement to sell Meyn Holding BV, the parent of Dutch poultry processing equipment maker Meyn Food Processing Technology BV, to CTB Inc, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK.A).

CTB, with a long history in food equipment, is a well suited owner for Meyn Altor, capable of developing the company further, Bengt Maunsbach, partner at Altor Equity Partners AB, said.

Altor, which bought Meyn in 2005, has expanded the business to reach EUR205m (USD270m) in revenues in 2011 from EUR98m in 2004, with its EBITDA growing over that period at an annual pace of 15%.

The company doubled to 1,000 its staff under Altor’s ownership and increased to 60% from 30% the share of sales in fast growing emerging markets, the vendor said.

Victor A. Mancinelli, CTB’s president and CEO, expressed his satisfaction with the deal which he expects to significantly add to CTB’s food equipment sector portfolio, he said.

Altor was advised by Nomura International Plc and Van Doorne.

Meyn develops, manufactures, markets and distributes its poultry processing solutions globally to industrial poultry processors in over 90 countries.

Financial details of the deal were not provided. Completion is pending approval by competition agencies and the Dutch works council.

JP Morgan and private equity arm to invest in Technicolor

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) and its private equity arm One Equity Partners will invest in an up to EUR158m (USD208m) capital hike at Technicolor SA (EPA:TCH) with the aim of taking a stake of between 25% and 29.96% in the French broadcasting technology and services company, the latter said on Thursday.

The investment by JPMorgan, which already holds 1% in Technicolor, will help the French group improve its balance sheet and give it additional capabilities to implement its growth strategy under the Amplify 2015 plan.

Technicolor’s CEO, Frederic Rose, welcomed the US investment bank as a significant long-term shareholder, saying that the investment showed confidence in the company and its strategy and growth potential.

In turn, David Walsh, managing director at One Equity Partners, said his firm was looking forward to working with Technicolor’s management towards implementing its growth strategy through increasing top market positions and achieving its financial objectives.

Technicolor will use 80% of the cash from the capital hike to reduce debt by between EUR118m and EUR126m. This will increase its financial flexibility and allow it to carry out its Amplify 2015 plan aimed at converting the company into a leader in innovation in media monetisation solutions.

After the deal, the buyer will have two directors in Technicolor’s nine-member board.

The transaction and the board changes are subject to clearance by Technicolor’s shareholders at their meeting on 20 June 2012, as well as regulatory approvals.

JPMorgan will keep the Technicolor shares for at least one year after the acquisition wraps up. The French group announced on Wednesday a board meeting to discuss an offer for a minority stake received from an institutional investor, whose name it did not disclose at the time.

Technicolor, present in Europe, Asia and the Americas, offers services for content creators, digital home products, software service platforms and research and licensing.

UK private equity firm Permira in talks to acquire Nokia’s luxury handset brand Vertu

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) has reached the advanced stage of negotiations over the sale of its luxury handset subsidiary Vertu to UK-based private equity firm Permira, as the company looks to shed non-core assets in a bid to revive its devices unit.

The Financial Times reported that the disposal is expected to generate around EUR200m (USD265m) for Nokia, which was once considered the undisputed leader on the mobile phone market, but is now struggling to make inroads into the smartphone business. Efforts also include accelerating cost reductions at the division, the newspaper said.

For Permira, a successful outcome of the talks would mean another luxury brand in its portfolio, which includes fashion labels Hugo Boss and Valentino. According to the sources, there is no certainty yet that the parties would reach an agreement. Nokia has enlisted the advisory services of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). None of the companies mentioned agreed to comment to the FT.

Swedish-based private equity group EQT Partners has also held talks with Nokia over acquiring Vertu but sources familiar with the matter report that there is currently no development on that front. The FT said that some luxury goods companies had also indicated interest in buying the brand.

Vertu was set up by Nokia in 1998 and has become known as the maker of the most expensive handsets in the world. The UK-based business makes devices whose price sometimes exceeds GBP200,000. The hand-made phones with precious metal components are sold in over 60 countries. Vertu’s annual revenues are estimated at between EUR200m and EUR300m, the FT added.