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Permira scraps Birds Eye Iglo refinancing following failed sale process

11 Jul 2012

Permira has scrapped its planned refinancing of frozen food producer Birds Eye Iglo days after rejecting a €2.5bn offer from Blackstone and BC Partners.

The recapitalisation would have seen the private equity firm pocket a dividend of about £500m, swelling the company’s €1.4bn debt to almost €2bn in the process.

But Permira has decided against the move after failing to reach the level of dividend payout it wanted, loan investors told Reuters.

The buyout house shelved the sale process for Birds Eye Iglo late last month after Blackstone and BC refused to pay the €2.8bn asking price.

They became favourites to buy the company when Parisian buyout firm PAI Partners pulled out of the sale process.

A Permira statement said, “Iglo Group is performing strongly and is a well-capitalised business.

“The momentum in the business is strong and its current capital structure gives it the flexibility to pursue both its organic growth strategy and explore further acquisition opportunities.”

Permira picked up the company for €1.89bn in 2006 and added the remainder of Unilever’s European frozen food operations by acquiring Findus Italy four years later.

Birds Eye Iglo posted sales of more than €1.1bn last year.

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