Candover declares mega-deals dead

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The value of assets managed by Candover rose sharply after a string of exits from its portfolio of companies, the buy-out firm said yesterday.

In the first six months of the year, a period that roughly coincides with the last throes of the buy-out industry boom, the value of the firm's assets grew to £403m, from £299m in the same period from the previous year.

Managing director Colin Buffin said he expects the pace and price of deals to slow due to the credit market meltdown.

He said: "Because of the lower debt multiples and increased pricing of debt overall, pricing will go down, so sellers might want to wait for things to rebound."

Candover is likely to be less affected because of its focus on deals worth up to £1bn rather than mega-deals, he added.

The firm's growth was fuelled by a series of disposals, including the float of Wellstream, and the sale of companies such as Thule and DM&E.

In total, proceeds from assets sales came to £130.3m during the period.