Deal round up 02/07/02

Warburg Pincus rewards Loyalty; Botts leads publishing MBO; Innova Capital exits BusinessPoint

Warburg Pincus rewards Loyalty

Global private equity investor Warburg Pincus has provided £25m in equity financing to Loyalty Management UK (LMUK), a consumer loyalty programme established by Sainsbury’s, Barclaycard, BP, and Debenhams.

LMUK will launch and operate Nectar, which aims to sign up over 50 percent of all UK households to loyalty packages following its autumn 2002 launch. Nectar will target the more than 12 million consumers who are members of points and rewards programmes currently operated by the four participating companies.

The investment in LMUK is being made jointly by two funds, the $2.5bn Warburg Pincus International Partners fund, and Warburg Pincus Private Equity VIII, the $5.3bn global fund which closed in April 2002.

Botts leads publishing MBO

UK private equity firm Botts & Co has led the management buyout of the UK’s leading Asian and African-Caribbean newspapers, Ethnic Media Group. The firm is being acquired from Trinity Mirror plc for a consideration of £10.25m, with £1m deferred for two years.

EMG publishes five national weekly newspapers and a number of regular magazines including Eastern Eye, New Nation, Asian Times, Caribbean Times, African Times and the annual Britain’s Richest Asians. The company became part of Trinity Mirror in November 2000, when Trinity Mirror acquired Southnews plc.

In addition to the undisclosed Botts financing, the acquisition was backed by management shareholders and NM Rothschild, which provided debt for the transaction.

Innova Capital exits BusinessPoint

Polish private equity firm Innova Capital has exited its investment in BusinessPoint, a back-office processing business which Innova acquired from Pioneer in 1997. The business is being acquired by SwedGiro, an outsourcing services firm which operates in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland. 

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, although Innova managing partner Steven Buckley said the deal represented a ‘successful exit’ for the firm. The investment, made from the firm’s Poland Partners Fund, was the firm’s thirteenth investment in business services, a sector which has averaged returns of 2.5 times invested capital for Innova.