Terra Firma plans to sell NI gas firm and Odeon group
Private equity group Terra Firma is planning to sell assets this year that are likely to include Northern Irish gas distribution and transmission company Phoenix Natural Gas, as well as Odeon UCI Cinemas Group.
The plans are part of an effort by founder Guy Hands (pictured above) to return cash to his backers before attempting to raise a new buyout fund. The British fund manager has not raised a traditional fund since losing his firm’s investment in EMI after Citigroup seized control of the music label in 2011.
Mr Hands is first expected to dispose of Phoenix Natural Gas and Infinis, the UK’s biggest producer of renewable energy, according to one of the people familiar with the situation. Odeon would follow later in the year.
Terra Firma declined to comment.
The plan to put Odeon back up for sale would be likely to raise at least £1.2 billion (€1.47 billion), the valuation Mr Hands was counting on when he tried to sell the company in 2011. Since then, earnings have increased. Terra Firma shelved sale talks two years ago in favour of a refinancing of the group.
It would be likely to trigger interest from the previous bidders, including Vue, the rival chain owned by private equity firm Doughty Hanson, and BC Partners. An adviser has not been appointed to manage a disposal of Odeon and a sale process may only start next year, one person warned. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)