Hopes of LBO revival as Cinven makes Emap bid

European buyout firm Cinven’s £2 billion bid for two divisions of media group Emap is the second largest new offer since debt market turmoil decimated the market for leveraged loans.

European buyout firm Cinven has tabled an offer for media group Emap’s business to business and consumer magazine divisions, according to a source close to the bid. Terms were undisclosed.

The media group's magazine business publishes FHM, Grazia (pictured) and Heat. 

Buyout firms Apax Partners and Vitruvian Partners are also reportedly interested in bidding for the Emap units, according to media sources. Emap is also selling its radio business, which may attract a private equity bid. 

The business to business unit is believed to be valued at £1.3 billion (€1.9 billion, $2.7 billion) and the consumer magazine unit is estimated to be worth £700 million, according to media reports.

The bid is the second largest since the beginning of August when liquidity problems in the debt markets affectively forced banks to place the underwriting of larger private equity deals on hold.

The source said: “This is evidence that it is possible to secure funding for large bids. Cinven also has other projects that are ongoing and the problems in the credit markets have not stopped large bids.”

Cinven and Emap declined to comment.

Other far larger deals have completed with adjusted financing since the problems began, such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ $29 billion First Data deal.

However, Cinven is only the second buyout firm to make a bid of this size since the difficulties. Qatari investment firm Three Delta made a preliminary £12 billion bid for British supermarket Sainsbury’s earlier this month, although this offer’s price has yet to be finalised. The Qatari firm is currently conducting due diligence on the supermarket.