Advent May Buy Out Moeller
Dec 10, 2003
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Advent International Corp., a Boston, MA, U.S.-based global private equity group, is poised to announce the buyout of German electronic products supplier Moeller Holding GmbH & Co. KG in a long-delayed deal worked out with the company's creditor banks.

Separately, Advent is expected to announce the sale of its stake in Loxam Group, a French construction equipment rental company.

Much of the groundwork had already been laid on Dec. 8, when Advent's acquisition vehicle, Laontae Beteiligungs GmbH, announced a general offer for Felten & Guilleaume AG, or F&G, Moeller's listed cable and switchgear subsidiary. But until the company’s Works Council is consulted, no details of the deal could be disclosed

Cologne-based F&G is 99.13-percent owned by Moeller Holdings, but because Germany only recently introduced laws permitting a squeeze-out of minority shareholders, the company remains listed on the German exchanges. Laontae offered a minimum of €154 (U.S. $188) a share, ahead of F&G's annual general meeting of shareholders, which is scheduled for Dec. 16. The offer announcement did not name Laontae's banks or brokers.

Moeller is privately held, and recent financial figures are not available. But the company reportedly posted a €77 million loss in fiscal 2001-'02 on sales of €1.15 billion. Debt was €400 million. The firm also has pension liabilities of €200 million.

Under pressure from its banks, 104-year-old Moeller has been looking for a buyer for more than a year. In February it reached an agreement in principle with London buyout house CVC Capital Partners only to see that deal collapse some months later.

Laontae originally agreed to buy the company as early as September, and the deal has already received the green light from the European competition authorities. But German media reported Tuesday that agreement was blocked by one of Moeller's 22 creditor banks. (The

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