Candover Gets Takeover Proposal

LONDON (Reuters) – Candover Investments Plc CDI.L, the listed parent of beleaguered private equity firm Candover, said on Friday had received takeover offers and other proposals and had started talks with several interested parties.

Candover, which like many private equity firms has seen the value of its portfolio companies drop because of excessive debts and weakening sales, said the proposals covered a range of options, including offers for the company.

A number of parties had made approaches, Candover said. It declined to comment on the process or potential suitors, but said it was focused on reinforcing its financial position and maximising value for shareholders.

The Telegraph said on Thursday that French private equity firm Eurazeo (EURA.PA) had expressed an interest in acquiring the group and cited traders as saying it could be willing to pay up to 450 pence a share.

By 1033 GMT shares in Candover, which have lost 82 percent of their value over the last year, were up 3 pence at 392 pence, valuing the company at 85 million pounds.

Candover said in March it was no longer in a position to invest in its own 2008 fund, throwing the future of the firm into doubt. Candover had previously pledged to put 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) into its planned 5 billion euro fund.

An outright sale is only one avenue open to the firm, a person familiar with the situation said.

“There is a very wide range of options,” the source said, adding that the review process is still in the early stages.

Candover had considered going into run-off — when a private equity firm stops investing and runs its portfolio companies until they can be sold — but only as a last resort, a source close to the situation told Reuters last month.  ($1=.7592 Euro)

By Simon Meads and Kylie MacLellan
(Editing by Victoria Bryan and Karen Foster)