Norman and Permira team up for Energis

The Conservative MP and former Asda chief executive has joined forces with the UK private equity firm to bid for the troubled telecoms firm.

Permira has stepped up its interest in rivalling the venture capital consortium of Apax Partners and Carlyle in the bidding to acquire struggling UK alternative telecoms firm Energis with the news that it is joining forces with Archie Norman, the former chief executive of Asda.

Norman, currently a Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells, will swell the ranks of the Permira team as it looks to compete against the Carlyle-Apax consortium, which counts former Energis chief executive Mike Grabiner in its ranks, and is being assisted by former Mercury Communications chief executive Duncan Lewis.

Indicative offers were received for the firm in late April, with the price range understood to be between £600m to £1bn. Other bidders possible bidders are thought to include Blackstone Group, Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity and Spectrum Equity Partners.