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Bregal bids €231m in Irish take-private

UK and Ireland-listed financial services business IFG Group is in exclusive talks with Bregal Capital regarding a €231m takeover deal.

Brenninkmeijer family-owned buyout firm Bregal Capital has won exclusivity in its bid to acquire Irish financial services business IFG Group. It successfully fought off competition from another, unnamed bidder, according to a regulatory statement issued by IFG.

Bregal has tabled a €1.80 a share bid worth €231 million for the company, which is listed on the London and Dublin stock exchanges. The offer price represents a premium of 35 percent to the company’s average share price over the three months to 20 April, the day prior to an initial bid being received, IFG said.

Bregal has also provided a non-cash alternative to shareholders to re-invest their offer proceeds in the bid vehicle, according to the statement.

The buyout firm now has until October 10 to conduct further due diligence on IFG.

Bregal will be investing from its €1.02 billion latest fund, The Bregal Fund III. Bregal typically makes equity investments of between €30 million and €150 million in mid-market companies, and concentrates on buyouts and development capital deals. The firm often targets financial services businesses, with portfolio companies including insurance business Canopius.

If the deal goes through, IFG hopes to continue growing both organically and through acquisitions, such as its 2009 acquisition for £35 million of James Hay Group from Spanish bank Santander, it said.

In a separate interim results statement, IFG reported revenues rose to €56.3 million in the first half of this year, up from £49.6 million in the same period last year. It also announced operating profits of £7.1 million, up from 2010’s half year figure of £0.4 million.

Last month, Bregal Capital acquired Novem Beteiligungs from a trustee of Barclays Private Equity for an undisclosed sum. Novem produces high-end decorative interior parts for the automobile industry.