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BC Partners to bid for Kroll

The European buyout firm has teamed up with the security risk consultancy business’ former chairman as it looks to seal its first US deal since opening its New York office in February.

BC Partners, the European buyout firm, has approached Marsh & McLennan with an offer for Kroll, the security risk consultancy business, according to a source close to the bid.

“It is early days and no banks have been appointed yet,” he said, confirming a report by Financial Times, the UK newspaper. The FT also said the bid would value the business in the region of $1.5 billion (€966 million) to $1.6 billion, although this was not confirmed.

David Buchler, the former European chairman of Kroll, has joined BC Partners in its bid, the source said. They have met with Marsh and McLellan to talk. Other interested parties have approached Kroll, according to the FT.

Activist investor Nelson Peltz has recently taken a stake in Marsh and McLennan. The FT said some investors in the company are pressuring it to pursue a break up of its assets.

“This is not part of the mainstream of Marsh and McLennan’s business so it’s not altogether surprising that interested parties are lining up,” the source said.

BC Partners opened an office in New York in March, and Kroll is set to be the firm’s first US offer since then. In February, it completed the $16.6 billion acquisition of US satellite operator Intelsat, persuading the company’s original lenders to provide some of the financing for the deal despite the problems in the worldwide credit markets.