Deal round up 05/06/02

Whitbread completes Pelican disposal; Inion secures E16m new financing; AMPJE backs Transys Projects MBO

Whitbread completes Pelican disposal

UK private equity firm ECI Group has completed the long-awaited buyout of Whitbread’s Pelican chain of restaurants. The deal will see a newco, Tragus Holdings, acquire Pelican’s 153 restaurants, which includes the Café Rouge and Bella Pasta brands for £25m.

Plans to sell the struggling chain were announced by Whitbread in October 2001, and ECI have long looked the most  likely beneficiary. Whitbread acquired the chain of restaurants in 1996 for £133m. The former head of coffee chop chain Aroma, Finlay Scott, will become MD of the new firm.

Inion secures E16m new financing

Swedish venture capital firm HealthCap has led a E16m second round of financing for Inion, a Finnish-based biotechnology firm based in Tampere. CapMan, Sweden (formerly Swedestart Management AB) and POD Holding joined previous investors Bio Fund and Bank von Ernst in this latest round of financing.

The firm will use the proceeds of the financing to continue the construction of our global marketing infrastructure including direct sales forces in the USA and Europe as well enabling the firm to carry out new research into orthopaedics.

AMPJE backs Transys Projects MBO

Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity has led a £3.5m buyout of Birmingham-based rail consultancy and engineering firm Transys Projects. The firm, which was formerly owned by Belgian firm Brant Beheer, provides engineering services to the UK rail industry.

BDO Stoy Hayward advised on the deal, with debt finance provided by Bank of Scotland. Transys Projects has a turnover of around £6m and employs 30 people from its Aston Science Park facility.