General Atlantic backs $1.47bn take-private

The global private equity firm has offered to acquire EGL, a Houston-based transportation and logistics company that is 18 percent owned by its founder.

General Atlantic, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity firm, today announced an offer to acquire EGL, a logistics company, in a deal worth roughly $1.47 billion (€1.1 billion).

EGL is currently traded on the Nasdaq. The offer from General Atlantic represents a 21 percent premium over EGL’s December 29 closing price of $29.78 per share.

Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs Credit Partners and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith have provided “highly confident” letters stating an intention to provide $1.125 billion in debt do the transaction.

EGL was founded in Houston in 1984. Its founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Jim Crane, owns 18 percent of the outstanding common stock. Crane is joining General Atlantic in the bid. EGL provides “global transportation, supply chain management and information services”, according to the press release. The company’s 2005 revenues were $3.1 billion.

In a statement, Crane said the transaction would “provide an opportunity for all of EGL’s shareholders to realize a significant premium.”

General Atlantic, with $10 billion in capital under management, specialises in growth equity investments. The firm maintains a base of limited partners who agree to provide capital to deals in five-year commitments. General Atlantic has additional offices in New York, Palo Alto, London, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong and Mumbai.