NEWS15 September 2008

Private equity firm eyes Creston buyout

Will offer CEO and CFO equity participation if takeover bid succeeds

UK— Marketing and research group Creston has been targeted for takeover by a private equity firm.

The unnamed potential bidder is said to be in the final stages of arranging financing and completing due diligence.

If a bid is made and succeeds, Creston said the private equity firm intends to retain chief executive Don Elgie, finance chief Barrie Brien and other members of the senior management team and offer them equity participation.

A spokesman for the company said Elgie and others were “broadly in favour” of such a deal, and described the private equity approach as “friendly”.

Creston – which owns research agencies ICM, CML and Marketing Sciences – has formed a committee of independent directors, including non-executive chairman David Marshall and non-executive directors Andrew Dougal and Malcolm Wall, to weigh up the merits of any bid on behalf of shareholders.

The committee is being advised by investment bank Rothschild. There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, the committee said.

Author: Brian Tarran