Apax Tipped As Favorite To Acquire Emap
December 3, 2007 at 5:11 AM (PT)
U.K. broadcaster EMAP will TODAY come a step closer to disappearing as bidders submit their second round offers for the media group's divisions, with private equity firm APAX understood to be the front-runner for its business-to-business publishing empire, reports THE GUARDIAN. The APAX bid, which includes the involvement of GUARDIAN MEDIA GROUP, publisher of THE GUARDIAN, is one of the second-round offers. Also bidding are private equity houses CINVEN AND CANDOVER, joint owners of GERMAN publishing group SPRINGER.
Two other private-equity houses, PROVIDENCE and PERMIRA, are rumored to have made a joint second-round bid.
EMAP hopes the business-to-business empire will be worth between £1.2bn and £1.4bn, and that the successful bidder will take the consumer and radio businesses off its hands in a single transaction. EMAP also wants to offload the corporate headquarters and administrative functions that maintain its PLC status.
American media group HEARST has teamed up with another private equity house, EXPONENT, to bid for EMAP's consumer business. QUADRANGLE, the American owner of MAXIM, is also interested.
TEXAS PACIFIC GROUP and DLJ MERCHANT BANKING PARTNERS have joined forces to bid for the consumer unit and radio offshoot. American buyout firms VITRUVIAN and VERONIS SUHLER STEVENSON are interested in the radio operations. None of the contenders were available for comment.