Four bids announced for Legrand

Four private equity-backed bids worth up to E4.5bn have been made to acquire Legrand following the collapse of the Schneider deal.

According to reports in the French press, four bids have been submitted to acquire French industrial giant Legrand. The bids have been made following the decision by the European Union to block the E7.9bn acquisition of Legrand by Schneider on competition grounds.

The four consortia bidding for Legrand are French industrial holding company Compagnie Generale d'Industrie et de Participations allied with private equity firms Candover, Chevrillon and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Roberts. UK private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has teamed up with Paribas Affaires Industrielles. Cinven and BC Partners have formed an alliance as have Carlyle and Permira.

Merrill Lynch is co-ordinating the sale on behalf of Schneider. Offers are expected to be in the region of E4-5bn. Notable absentees from the bidding were Siemens and General Electric, a consequence of the short time scale permitted to potential bidders to make an offer.