UK in vogue as Baird talks aircraft recycling and Mayfair makes move to retake Seraphine

Mayfair already owns nearly 43 percent of Seraphine and had owned the company outright before its stock market float.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the opening Dealflow of the week.

There’s a bit of a UK focus today, with Baird Capital talking us through its plans for aircraft disassembly firm ecube, Mayfair Equity Partners moving to take back control of maternity wear firm Seraphine  and rumours of a merger between Asda and EG Group, in which TDR Capital holds stakes. We also have more reaction to the plans to boost the EU’s green technology industry and deals involving Equistone and Kartesia.

Recycle. Baird Capital will focus on opportunistic M&A and explore a potential expansion into the APAC region with ecube, an aircraft disassembly and end-of-life business, director Andy Dyer and partner James Benfield told PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm.

Ecube, headquartered in St Athan in Wales, was acquired by Baird in August 2020. The company provides storage, disassembly and parts re-use and recycling services to global aircraft owners, including major airlines and aircraft leasing companies. Last October, ecube jetted over the Atlantic and opened its first North American facility in Coolidge, Arizona.

“Initially, our plan is to is to consolidate and build out – we’re very new in the US, we want to get that site up and running and add service lines as well,” Dyer said.

Check out the full interview to hear about Baird’s other expansion plans for ecube as well as its other aerospace investment, CAV Systems.

Rebirth. Mayfair Equity Partners and the board of Seraphine, an international maternity wear company headquartered in London, have agreed a recommended cash offer to take the firm private. Mayfair already owns nearly 43 percent of Seraphine and had owned the company outright before its stock market float.

Mayfair is offering 30p per share, valuing the company at around £15.3 million ($19.0 million; €17.4 million). The offer is a premium of 206 percent to the closing price of Seraphine on 19 January, the day before the offer was announced, 178 percent to the three month weighted average up to that date and 80 percent to the six-month weighted average.

The firm “believes that the company’s share price is negatively impacting Seraphine’s ability to deliver on its strategy and attract and retain talent”, according to a statement from Mayfair partner Bertie Aykroyd. Taking the firm private would “allow Seraphine to operate without the material level of costs of maintaining a public listing, supporting the company during this period of macro-instability”.

Seraphine went public on the LSE Main Market in July 2021 at 295p per share, giving it a valuation of just over £150 million. Mayfair had bought it for £50 million in late 2020.

For more take-private news, check out our coverage on the battle between Bain Capital and Triton Partners for Finnish construction firm Caverion.

Refinance. London-headquartered private equity firm TDR Capital and the Issa brothers are mulling a merger of their jointly-owned UK supermarket chain Asda and petrol station company EG Group, according to a report in the Times.

The merger would create a company worth more than £10 billion, which the owners expect would ease the refinancing of £7 billion of debt EG Group is due to refinance in 2025, the report said.

TDR Capital said it would not comment on the article when contacted by PE Hub Europe.

Green push. We’ve got some more private equity comment on the European Union’s plans to boost its green technology sector.

Fabio Ranghino, partner and head of strategy and sustainability at Ambienta, said any additional effort the EU can put in place to accelerate the transition to green, low-cost energy supplies is “more than welcome” as it will improve the long-term competitiveness of the European economy. It was also “crucial” that any such move did not create imbalances between EU countries “and as a consequence among investors” with different regional focuses.

But he added that it was hard to define the implications for private equity investors, as “we know too little and probably too little has been really defined”.

Check out some more comment on the EU’s plans here. If you’d like to share your thoughts, drop me a note at

Connecting. Equistone Partners has agreed to sell its majority stake in Bulgin, a manufacturer of harsh environment connectivity products, to Infinite Electronics.

Infinite Electronics, based in California, is backed by Warburg Pincus and has a global portfolio of in-stock connectivity product brands.

Equistone bought Bulgin from Elektron Technology in 2019, and since then, the firm has opened a new site in Tunisia and new headquarters in Cambridge in the UK.

Check out our full coverage here.

Manufacturing. Kartesia-backed Babcock Wanson has acquired Parat and PBS Power Equipment, in a move to solidify its standing in the market for the energy transition of Europe’s manufacturing industry.

Parat is a Norwegian company specialising in high-voltage boilers, whereas PBS Power Equipment, a Czech company based in Trebic, offers industrial boiler services in central Europe.

Read more on the deal here.

That’s it from me – I’ll be back with you tomorrow.