BC club wins battle for Turkish retailer

The BC Partners-led consortium has pulled off its YTL3.9 billion bid for Migros Türk in the face of strong competition including The Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. It is Europe’s largest deal since credit markets seized up.

BC Partners, a European buyout firm, has bought a 50.8 percent stake in Turkish retailer Migros Türk for YTL3.9 billion ($3.25 billion; €2.2 billion) from Turkish conglomerate Koç Holding, according to a statement. BC’s knock-out bid was more than YTL500 million higher than expected, according to market sources.

Biggest post-crunch

It is the largest private equity deal in Europe since August, when the leveraged loan market seized up, and the largest ever deal in Turkey. BC Partners has assembled a consortium comprised of local mid-market buyout firm Turkven and investment firm DeA Capital, owned by Italian publishing company De Agostini. The consortium plans to launch an offer for the remaining listed shares of Migros.

Bülend Özaydinli, former chief executive of Koç Holding and Migros will become the chairman of the group.

BC Partners had to contend with competition from US investment firm The Blackstone Group in partnership with Croatian trade buyer Agrokor and a separate bid by global buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

BC Partners acquired its stake at YTL21.85 per share.

BC Partners was advised by Merrill Lynch on the transaction, and financing was provided by Turkish banks Garanti Bank, Is Bank and Vakifbank.

Migros employs more than 14,800 people and in 2006, Migros generated sales of approximately YTL4.3 billion.

BC’s Turkish deal has topped UK buyout firm Montagu Private Equity and European infrastructure specialist Global Infrastructure Partners’ agreed £1.23 billion ($2.39 billion; €1.65 billion) bid for UK waste manager Biffa.

The largest deal in Turkey so far was Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ acquisition of shipping company UN Ro-Ro for €910 million ($1.3 billion).

BC Partners closed its $16.5 billion Intelsat bid earlier this month having persuaded both its banks and Intelsat’s original creditors to bankroll the mega buyout.