If you want a sign that the private equity market has gone down the pan, how’s this?
In the early hours of Friday morning, one of the biggest European private equity buyouts of the year was signed, sealed and delivered. Far from being one of the glittering household names of the past, this time the target was Ontex (see story) – Belgian manufacturer of hygienic disposables – or, to the likes of you and me, nappies.
Now it’s probably beneath some people to suggest that Candover, a private equity house that has seen its fair share of trouble in the last few months, wanted rid of an asset that had started to stink up its portfolio. But not us.
And for Candover’s adviser Ashurst, whose private equity department could also be described as embattled after some high-profile departures, a deal by any name probably smells as sweet.
InThe Lawyer on Monday: The silver circle redrawn; the inside track on the White Tower sell-off; and for local news, meet the stalwart of the Hogan Lovells post room.