Tue, Jan 01, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Carlyle Group LP, investors agree to buy Duff & Phelps

TENTATIVE DEAL:The merger agreement provides for a “go-shop,” during which the firm can solicit and receive alternative proposals

Bloomberg

Carlyle Group LP and investors, including Swiss bank Pictet & Cie, agreed to buy investment-banking firm Duff & Phelps Corp for US$665.5 million.

The buyers, also including Stone Point Capital LLC and Geneva-based Edmond de Rothschild Group, will pay US$15.55 a share, 19 percent more than Duff & Phelps’ closing price on Friday. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of the year, the companies said in a statement on Sunday.

The group of buyers will help New York-based Duff & Phelps continue its international expansion, according to the statement. Revenue at the firm, which also provides financial-advisory services, is predicted to rise 17 percent this year to US$465.8 million, the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Duff & Phelps has more than 1,000 employees worldwide. The company’s stock advanced 1.9 percent to US$13.05 on Friday, below the 2007 initial public offering price of US$16.

Private-equity firm Carlyle, based in Washington, last month agreed to buy a stake in energy investor NGP Energy Capital Management for US$424 million. Other deals this year included the photo archive Getty Images Inc and DuPont Co’s auto-paint unit.

The merger agreement provides for a “go-shop” period ending on Feb. 8, during which the company can solicit and receive alternative proposals. Duff & Phelps would pay a break-up fee of about US$6.65 million if it gets a higher bid and ends the agreement before March 8.

Duff & Phelps, started in 1932 to provide investment research, was a financial adviser to the examiner in the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc bankruptcy in 2009 and an administrator for the Rangers Football Club PLC in the largest soccer club insolvency in UK history, according to its Web site.

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