Candover Receives Takeover Approach

LONDON (Reuters) – British private equity firm Candover Investments said on Tuesday it received an initial approach by a third party to acquire the company, after its fall from grace earlier this year.

A source familiar with the situation said the approach had come from Canadian pension fund Alberta Investment Management Co and that the two companies had been in talks for a while.

A deal could give Alberta Investment Management Company an experienced private equity deals team and a portfolio of mature investments as Canadian pension plans are building up their private equity teams and pursuing deals directly.

But the full terms of the deal and what it could include are still being considered, the source said.

Candover said any offer was expected to be at a price no higher than the last reported net asset value of 1,038 pence per share. Candover Investment shares closed down 4.5 pence earlier on Tuesday at 739 pence.

Candover said in March it would consider new business structures after it was forced to call a halt to all new deals and let investors withdraw their money from the firm’s flagship 2008 fund. [ID:nNLDE61P23] [ID:nLDE6071SZ]

“The board of directors emphasises that there can be no certainty as to the outcome of such discussions,” the group said in a statement. “A further announcement will be made as appropriate.”

The woes of the embattled buyout house, once seen as one of the leading lights in the European private equity industry, have been held up to demonstrate how the industry’s fortunes have turned in the downturn. (Reporting by Kate Holton and Simon Meads; editing by Richard Chang and Andre Grenon)