CPP, Sterling To Take Livingston International Private

(Reuters) – Canadian logistics services provider Livingston International Income Fund (LIV_u.TO) agreed to be taken private by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Sterling Partners in a deal valued at about C$225.3 million ($213.6 million).

Under the deal, Livingston’s unit holders would receive C$8 per unit in cash, representing a premium of 20 percent based on the Wednesday’s closing price of the units. Livingston had 28.2 million units outstanding as of Aug. 7.

Livingston, which was operating in a challenging environment, hurt by weakening trade volumes in the United States and Canada, said the deal follows its review of strategic alternatives and a confidential auction process.

“Going private is a good thing for company,” Chief Executive Peter Luit said on a conference call, adding that following the deal the company would benefit from strong financial position of its acquirers.

He also mentioned that the trust would contact its top clients in the United States and Canada and explain the deal, aiming to retain business.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which owns 45 percent of the fund investments in Canada, recently said it would always maintain a very strong component in the country but was also looking at buying opportunities spawned by the global economic crisis.

Sterling Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm will own 60 percent of the trust, while CPP Board will own the rest after the completion of the deal, the trust said on a conference call.

Livingston also said the deal was subject to approval from two-thirds of the unit holders.

The trust said the deal, which is expected to close in December, has the unanimous support of its board of trustees.

Livingston units were up 22 percent at C$8.12 Thursday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.055 Canadian dollar)

(Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal and Anil D’Silva)