CVC & Imperial Get Altadis Access

Altadis, a Franco-Spanish tobacco group, has opened its books to a consortium led by CVC Capital Partners, a European buyout firm, and rival Imperial Tobacco.

The Financial Times said that the Altadis board feels that CVC and PAI Partners' Euro 50 per share preliminary offers is closer to matching the group's “real value” than the Euro 47 approach made by Imperial Tobacco in April.

The report added that Altadis' decision to authorise due diligence by the two groups without formally backing either offer could trigger a hoped-for bidding war. However, CVC and PAI Partners will have access to all of Altadis' books, while Imperial will only be provided with requested information.