Permira Advisers LLP, a private equity firm based in London, called off the sale of Iglo Foods Group Ltd. after receiving bids it deemed too low, and said it has also stopped exploring ways to pay itself a dividend from its stake in the fish-finger maker.
“We have taken the decision with Permira not to pursue Iglo Group’s partial refinancing,” Martin Glenn, chief executive officer of Iglo Group, said in an e-mailed statement today. “For us it is ‘business as usual,’ as we move forward on our strategy for the next phase of our growth.”
Permira considered refinancing Iglo’s debt instead of selling its stake after Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) and BC Partners Ltd. submitted an offer last month that fell short of Permira’s target, people with knowledge of the talks said at the time. BC and Blackstone came back last week with a better offer, which was still below Permira’s 2.8 billion euro ($3.4 billion) valuation, two people with knowledge of the matter said today, asking not to be identified as the process is private. The terms of the debt refinancing weren’t attractive enough, they said.
Concern that Europe’s debt crisis and volatile financial markets are weighing on its economic recovery has made investors and lenders wary. Private equity firms have led $20 billion of leveraged buyouts in western Europe this year, down from $30.4 billion over the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Permira, which is seeking 6.5 billion euros from investors for a new buyout fund, bought Iglo from Unilever NV for 1.73 billion euros in 2006, and expanded it after purchasing the Dutch consumer goods maker’s Findus operations in Italy for 805 million euros in October 2010.
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