Private equity groups eyeing up Hanson
May, 14 2007
(UK) -- Hanson came under the bid spotlight last week when HeidelbergCement confirmed it was looking at a move for the £7.3bn firm.
The Germans' announcement, forced by the Takeover Panel, is understood to have flushed out other potential buyers interested in the UK's last remaining independent building materials group.
Though private equity firms have little experience of the sector, it is thought Hanson is an attractive target for buyout specialists, which could realise value by breaking up the business. Hanson's two main divisions are aggregates and building products.
Hanson shares closed up one per cent on Friday at 1,036p, having reached a year high of 1100p earlier in the week.
It is understood Hanson has already held informal talks with Heidelberg, though these are at an early stage.
Elsewhere, private equity players PAI, Cinven and CVC have all won through to the second round of bidding for the £1.4 billion hospitals arm of private healthcare group Bupa, which was put up for sale after Bupa received private equity approaches for its whole business.
Australian firm Ramsey Healthcare and Irish-backed Barchester are thought to have dropped out of the bidding.
The deadline for final bids is expected to be on June 12, with market sources suggesting that a sale of the hospitals will leave Bupa more vulnerable to a private equity takeover.
By Ben Marlow, Mail on Sunday
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