Consumer and Retail Goods
Avigo Capital Partners has hired Lincoln International Advisors to advise it on the sale of Spykar Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Media reports suggest that buyout shop Riverside Co. and three European fashion retailers are interested in acquiring a stake in the Mumbai clothing retailer.
After Clinton Group Inc. suggested Wet Seal Inc. be sold, the retailer announced it was creating a "strategic oversight committee" to assist the board. Guggenheim Securities LLC and Peter J. Solomon Co. are advising. The company fired CEO Susan McGalla on July 23. Ken Seipel, president and COO, and Steve Benrubi, CFO, are serving as co-principal executive officers until a new CEO is hired.
London buyout firm Apax Partners LP has hired Blackstone Group LP to advise on its sale of Spyder Active Sports Inc., a source said. Apax acquired Spyder in 2004 and in 2008 made an unsuccessful attempt to exit the maker of outdoor apparel. VF Corp., which owns the North Face brand, and Columbia Sportswear Co. are reportedly likely suitors. Warren Kanders, executive chairman of outdoor recreation equipment Black Diamond Inc., had in 2010 considered an offer for Spyder but said he would not submit a bid this time around.
CSM NV announced Aug. 8 that it expects to make "significant progress by early 2013" on the divestment of its North American and European bakery supplies business. The Dutch bakery products company also warned that it couldn't rule out a negative effect on its performance.
TSG Consumer Partners LLC is shopping three hair-care brands: Kenra Professional LLC, Sexy Hair Concepts and Alterna Inc. Sources confirmed the auction, although TSG declined comment. Consumer products company Helen of Troy Ltd. CEO Gerald Rubin noted that the brands were attractive targets while announcing that his company was seeking expansion opportunities.
Johnson & Johnson has put its Reach toothbrush business on sale, two sources confirmed June 28. A source said the division likely brings in less than $80 million and would sell for around 2 to 4 times revenue.
Gordon Merchant, founder and 15% shareholder of Australian clothing company Billabong International Ltd., told the Australian Financial Review he would be open to offers that value the company at around $4 per share, a 400% premium over its June 26 closing price of $1.02 per share.
Salt Lake City-based outdoor and action sports brand Black Diamond Inc. is seeking acquisitions after its recent purchase of protective gear maker POC Sweden AB. CEO Peter Metcalf said Black Diamond would likely not target outdoor and action sports apparel companies, as the company builds its clothing business internally.
Education and Financial Services
The Austrian government on July 26 began the sale of nationalized lender Kommunalkredit Austria AG, enlisting Morgan Stanley as adviser. Austria has until year's end to find a buyer to meet European Commission conditions placed on its rescue, the first nationalization of an Austrian lender during the crisis. It must close the deal by mid-2013.
SNS Reaal NV said July 13 it was exploring strategic alternatives. The Amsterdam-based banking group said that a sale of parts of its business is one option. SNS Reaal affirmed its strategic priorities are to focus on the runoff of property finance loans and strengthening its capital position.
HSBC Holdings plc has put its 18% stake in government-controlled Bao Viet Holdings, a Vietnamese insurance business, up for sale, said sources cited by Reuters and The Economic Times. Other reports suggested a price of $400 million. The sale is part of an HSBC effort to sell off noncore assets.
Aviva plc said it plans to sell off noncore assets worth £300 million ($466 million) in operating profit. The plan is aimed at placating disgruntled investors. The U.K. insurer raised £318 million from the sale of over half its 41% stake in the Netherlands' Delta Lloyd NV July 6.
Corinthian Colleges Inc. said it plans to sell two of its WyoTech technical school campuses. The schools up for sale, in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif., train students in auto repair and other technical fields.
Media, Internet, Leisure and
LodgeNet Interactive Corp. announced Aug. 21 it has retained Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC to advise it on strategic alternatives. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based firm also hired FTI Consulting Inc. to help adjust its business plan. LodgeNet provides interactive media and connectivity services to hospitality and healthcare businesses. Senior vice president and chief financial officer Frank Elsenbast said the two firms will help examine different financial proposals as the company looks to reduce debt and address tightening financial covenants. Miller Buckfire will focus on refinancing options and strategic alternatives.
Google Inc. announced Aug. 13 it has reached a deal to buy the Frommer's travel guides from John Wiley & Sons Inc. for an undisclosed price. The next day, Consumer Watchdog, a consumer rights group, asked antitrust regulators to block the purchase, arguing that Google will favor its own assets in its search results. Wiley, a Hoboken, N.J.-based adult education materials company, said in its March 8 report that it was shopping consumer print and digital-publishing assets to focus on "information and solutions for professionals and lifelong learners."
Digital Domain Media Group Inc. announced Aug. 13 that the postproduction company has retained Wells Fargo Securities LLC as financial adviser. On Aug. 1, Digital Domain had announced that after receiving some unsolicited approaches it undertook the review to vet business combinations or a sale in pieces. CEO John Textor said an outright sale is no longer a consideration.
Harris Corp. president and CEO William Brown said July 31 that the sale of its broadcast division was "on track" with a previously established timetable to complete a deal by the end of 2012. "We're out in the marketplace with offering materials," he said. He did not name potential suitors.
Ancestry.com Inc., which released its second-quarter earnings report on July 25, said it had an 18% increase in revenue for the quarter. Various reports also said that Providence Equity Partners LLC, TPG Capital and Permira were taking a look at the company, which hit a milestone of 2 million customers in the second quarter.
After a deal to sell online poker company Ongame Network Ltd. to Shuffle Master Inc. fell through June 27, Ongame's parent, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment plc, will seek other buyers. Shuffle Master had agreed to pay $24 million for the company before it withdrew the offer.
Construction, Real Estate, Manufacturing and Infrastructure
After a hunt for bidders turned up 17 parties interested in Australian real estate investor Thakral Holdings Ltd., Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. offered as much as A$471 million ($492.4 million), a bump from an earlier bid of A$409.8 million.
Copenhagen-based FLSmidth & Co. A/S wants to sell its Cembrit fiber-cement unit, according to an Aug. 15 financial report by the engineering company. That same day subsidiary FLSmidth Pfister A/S, which makes centrifuges, said it had acquired Johnson City, Tenn., counterpart Decanter Machine Inc. for undisclosed terms.
Irish building insulation supplier Kingspan Group plc announced Aug. 10 agreements to acquire rival ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG, a unit of Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG, as well as a smaller Dubai-based business for a total of $119 million. Kingscourt-based Kingspan said it would pay €65 million ($80.1 million) for ThyssenKrupp's insulated panels business. The payment would include €50 million in cash and about €15 million for the assumption of pension liabilities.
British building and plumbing supplies company Wolseley plc said July 17 that it is considering "strategic options" for its French unit. A closure of the business is not being considered, said a spokesperson, and the company hasn't yet appointed advisers. "The options being considered are a sale, a joint venture or the restructuring of the business so it can continue under Wolseley's management," said a spokesman.
Energy, Utilities and Mining
Despite little activity in the sale of KWG Resources Inc., a spokesman for the Toronto mineral company said it is still seeking bidders. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has not acted on its rumored interest in buying, the spokesman said, so KWG believes it is not a likely acquirer.
Hamilton, Bermuda-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP announced July 30 that it would look to divest a portion of its timber assets and select noncore assets to help raise capital to fund its $15.6 million purchase on June 25 of an 85% interest in Inexus Group Ltd.
Marathon Oil Corp. said July 31 that it has closed agreements with subsidiaries of Total SA under which Total would acquire a 35% working interest in two blocks in Kurdistan. The deal reduces Marathon's stake in the blocks to a 45% interest. Marathon remains operator of the Harir block and exploration operator of the Safen block.
Royal Standard Minerals Inc. said on July 19 that its board has initiated a strategic review process, which could include selling all or part of the exploration and mining company. Royal Standard's operations are located in mineral districts of Nevada on the Carlin Trend and in the Round Mountain region. The company has hired BayFront Capital Partners Ltd. as its financial adviser.
Houston American Energy Corp. said July 19 that it was beginning a strategic review process, which could result in selling all or part of the company's assets. Houston American Energy is an oil and gas exploration and production company focused on onshore properties along the Gulf Coast, principally in Texas and Louisiana.
Calvalley Petroleum Inc. said in a July 11 statement that its board has established a committee to explore strategic alternatives in response to DNO International ASA's announcement that it would make an offer for the Calgary, Alberta, oil company. Calvalley has enlisted TD Securities Inc. to provide financial advice and adopted a shareholder rights plan.
Jeremy Butz, owner of Chesapeake Green Fuels LLC, said July 12 that the company was "actively marketing the plant" and that there are a "couple" of groups interested in acquiring the Clayton, Del., refinery. He declined to name potential bidders or to give a timeline on when a decision could be made. Equity Partners Inc. is managing the auction for Chesapeake Green's 10 million-gallon capacity refinery.
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. said June 25 it would evaluate strategic options for its Martha silver and gold mine in Santa Cruz, Argentina, due to high operating costs. The mine generated $24.2 million of the company's $3.2 billion in total assets as of the end of March.
According to a company representative, Mission Woods, Kan.-based Layne Christensen Co.'s strategic review process for its energy exploration and production business is ongoing.
Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Celesio AG announced July 23 that it plans to sell subsidiary Movianto Group, which specializes in third-party logistics for the pharma and medical-devices industries, to Owens & Minor Inc. Mechanicsville, Va.-based O&M intends to acquire Stuttgart, Germany-based Movianto for €130 million ($158 million). Celesio is still working with financial advisers on other divestitures.
Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. said June 26 that it had decided to sell off its Cambridge, Mass., manufacturing plant. The Lexington, Mass., company said that after the sale it would outsource production needs.