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Blackstone, BC Partners Won't Submit Higher Bid For Iglo - Source

By Marietta Cauchi LONDON--Buyout groups Blackstone Group (BX) and BC Partners aren't submitting a revised offer for European frozen food group Iglo, after their initial approach was rejected by Iglo's owner, Permira, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday. Permira rejected a bid valuing Iglo, Europe's largest branded frozen foods business, at around 2.5 billion euros, or about $3.12 billion, because it came in below the EUR2.8 billion to EUR3 billion price Permira wanted, people previously told Dow Jones Newswires. Permira bought Iglo from Unilever PLC (UNA.AE) for EUR1.7 billion in 2006 and, in July 2010, recombined its Birds Eye unit with Unilever's other frozen-food business, Findus Italy, in a GBP675 million deal. Earlier this year it hired Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) to advise on a sale of the business. Blackstone and BC Partners decided to team up on a joint bid last week after earlier having been in competition to buy the company, which makes frozen food staples like fish fingers and the Bake to Perfection food range in the Captain Birds Eye range. Rival buyout firm PAI Partners withdrew from the auction last month while Thai food group Charoen Pokphand PCL (CPF.TH) was also interested in parts of the company. It didn't submit a formal bid. Permira is now expected to support Iglo's consolidation strategy which was agreed before the sales process was launched. In particular, the company plans to expand across Europe with an emphasis on eastern Europe. There has also been speculation that Iglo was interested in buying Findus Group, the U.K.-based frozen food maker owned by Lion Capital with operations in the Nordics and France as well as the U.K. However, Lion Capital is now focused on restructuring the business. Write to Marietta Cauchi at marietta.cauchi@dowjones.com

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