French food ingredients maker Diana, received buyout bids from Symrise, a listed German aroma chemicals maker, and Ajinomoto, a Japanese producer of seasonings and curry sauces.
In moves highlighting the intense competition for deals in Europe the two groups have submitted bids valuing the Brittany-based company at more than €1.2bn including debt, people with knowledge of the talks said. They trumped Blackstone and BC Partners, which have not been retained by the seller, Ardian, for a second round of bidding in the next weeks. However, private equity groups CVC Capital Partners, Eurazeo and Pamplona remain in the race, they said.
The hard-fought auction underlines buyout investors’ struggle to compete for deals as prices rise and corporate buyers join the fray. Private equity groups have accumulated a record $1tn of cash from pension plans, insurers and sovereign wealth funds and are finding it hard to spend the money.
Rising equity markets have lifted price expectations while deal-flow remains about half of what it was before the crisis. The competition has heightened because a lot of private equity groups are opting to float their portfolio companies rather than sell them because public market investors are ready to pay more, drying up a large source of potential deals for other buyout houses.
Tags: Private Equity, Private Equity Firm, Private Equity Group, Private Equity Company, Private Equity Fund, Private Equity Investment, Private Equity Investor, Fund of Fund, Private Equity Business, Private Equity Industry, PE, French Food Ingredients Maker, Diana, Buyout Offer, Buyout Bids, Buyout, Buyout Fund, Leveraged Buyout, Buyout Firm, Symrise, Germany, Ajinomoto, Japan, Europe, Blackstone, BC Partners, Ardian, CVC Capital Partners, Eurazeo, Pamplona.