Electra to bid for Vest-Wood

Electra Europe is reported to be considering a bid for Vest-Wood that would trump the bid made by Danish PE firms Axcel and Polaris.

Private equity group Electra Partners Europe is likely to launch a counterbid for Danish door manufacturer Vest-Wood, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The bid, expected to be in the region of E250m, would surpass the E230m bid tabled by Danish private equity firms Axcel and Polaris through their Door Holding consortium earlier this year. Door Holding is 70 per cent controlled by Axcel with Polaris owning the remainder.

Reports had suggested that a counterbid from Electra may be made as early as this week, although people familiar with the situation say that this is unlikely to be the case.

Door Holding announced last week that it had acquired a 34 per cent stake in the company, adding that its bid had the support of Vest-Wood management. On 26 February 2002, Vest-Wood appointed Danske Securities to advise on its options.

Electra Partners Europe closed its first European buyout fund in April 2001 at E1bn, making it one of the largest first-time funds ever raised in Europe. As part of its defence against a hostile takeover bid from 3i, the firm bought itself out from Electra Investment Trust in 1999. At 30 September 2000, Electra Partners Europe had E1.6bn under management and had completed 98 leveraged buyouts. The business operates from London, Paris and Frankfurt and through associates in Madrid and Milan.