BS to buy back Euphon

Looking to regain control over a business it once owned, Italian sponsor BS Private Equity has agreed to buy a 41 percent stake in media production company Euphon ahead of a public-to-private offer.

BS Private Equity, the Italian private equity firm which closed its fourth private equity fund last year on €550 million ($703 million), has announced plans to acquire a 41 percent stake in Euphon, a multimedia television production company it helped float in 2000.

The deal is being led through acquisition vehicle Lupo Spa, which is 98 percent-controlled by BS Private Equity.


Euphon said in a statement at the weekend that Giancarlo and Roberto Rocchietti, the company’s major shareholders, had agreed to sell their stake for €15.6 million, equivalent to €8 per share – a 20 percent discount to the company's closing price last week.


The deal will lead to BS making a full offer for the remaining shares in Euphon, as requested by Italian takeover regulations. The tender offer for the remaining shares will be at a price of €8.08 a share, for a total of up to €22.6 million.


Euphon, listed on the smaller Italian stock exchange Nuovo Mercato, specialises in the organisation of conventions, road shows and trade fairs in Italy and Spain. The company makes TV movies, serials, documentaries, sports and music shows, and develops Internet websites and web portals. The company posted a net loss of €3.7 million in the first half of 2003.


If completed, the deal will see Euphon come under the stewardship of BS for the second time. The business, which floated in July 2000, was formerly controlled by BS and the Rocchietti family after the former purchased a 40 percent stake in September 1997. At the time of the flotation, Euphon was priced at €56 per share, €48 per share higher than the proposed take-private price.


BS could not be reached for comment.