Companies Outbid Buy-Out Firms

Cash-rich corporations intent on acquisitions.

TPG Capital, the leveraged-buyout firm started by David Bonderman, twice came close to buying companies at auction in the same week. Both times, it lost to a corporation offering to pay more.

The firm bid about 490 million pounds ($806 million) for London-based shoe designer Jimmy Choo Ltd., according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Labelux Group GmbH, the owner of Bally footwear, won the auction on May 22 by paying about 12 percent more and offering a stake to Tamara Mellon, Jimmy Choo’s co-founder, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks were private. Three days earlier, Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. acquired Landis+Gyr AG, a Swiss electronic-metering company TPG was also vying to buy, for $2.3 billion, two people with knowledge of the transaction said.

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