CVC linked with deals worth €18bn

The European private equity firm is targeting the possible buyouts of Royal Dutch/Shell’s LPG unit and Ruhrgas Industries – taking the total value of deals the firm is currently linked with to about €18bn.

CVC Capital Partners, the London-based pan-European investor, has teamed up with Spanish oil company Repsol to submit an offer of about €2.5 billion ($3.1 billion) for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) assets of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, a successful deal would see Repsol take a 60 percent stake in the target and CVC 40 percent. However, the report quoted people “familiar with the sale process” as saying that several parties were interested in acquiring the assets.

Royal Dutch/Shell has said it wants a deal to be agreed by the end of this year. The sale is part of the firm’s $15 billion disposal programme designed to boost investment in its upstream oil and gas exploration business.

According to a Reuters report, CVC has also emerged as the frontrunner to acquire Ruhrgas Industries, the metering unit of German utility E.ON, for about €1.3 billion. The report said CVC had moved ahead of rival Permira in the bidding stakes and that a deal may be a week to ten days away.

Ruhrgas Industries is being sold by E.ON subsidiary E.ON Ruhrgas in order to focus on its core energy operations, which include the import, storage and distribution of natural gas as well as overseeing the European gas business of E.ON.

Last month, it was announced that CVC had launched an agreed €1.4 billion takeover bid for Spanish clothing retailer Cortefiel. The offer, which remains open for around another three weeks, is conditional upon acceptance by 75 percent of the company’s shareholders. The Hinojos and Garcia-Quiros families, which are the major shareholders, have agreed to tender their 55.7 percent holding according to reports.

Last but certainly not least, CVC is one of a host of private equity firms said to be currently bidding for Spanish telecommunications firm Auna, which is valued at around €12.5 billion (including €4 billion of debt). CVC is part of a consortium that also includes Apax Partners and Cinven. Several other consortia are also reported to be in the running including one comprising Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Permira and Providence Equity Partners.

CVC is understood to be close to a final closing on its latest buyout fund, which is expected to total around €6 billion.