BlueGem Capital Partners, a spin-out of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity that formed at the end of 2006, has completed a landmark deal with the purchase of London’s illustrious Liberty department store.
The boards of Liberty and BlueGem have agreed on the £42m (€48.7m) sale that will see the private equity firm pay 186 pence (215.8 euro cents) per share for the listed business, including a 44.2 pence (51.3 euro cents) per share special dividend for shareholders.
Pyrrho Investments, a Hong Kong-based investment firm, recently accused Liberty of freezing it out of the auction by ignoring its bid of 185 pence per share. Pyrrho claimed that it was prepping a sweetened offer before the 7 May deadline, with Liberty refuting charges of any wrongdoing saying that it never received an increased bid.
The business was established in 1875 by Arthur Liberty with a £2,000 loan. In 1924, the iconic mock-Tudor emporium, located in what is now the heart of London’s West End shopping district, was built and still stands today.
BlueGem, led by Marco Capello, a former managing director of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, invests in mid-market companies in the UK and in Italy.
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