BC Partners Sues Italian Directory Publisher Seat Pagine

BC Partners Ltd., a British private-equity firm, is suing a company it previously owned, Seat Pagine Gialle SpA, which is now under court administration in Italy.

BC Partners, which sold its stake in the Turin, Italy-based publisher of phone directories in 2008, filed a claim against Seat Pagine in a London court on April 29, according to court documents. The details of the case aren’t publicly available, according to the court.

Seat Pagine said last month it’s seeking to recoup damages from previous managers through court proceedings in Italy. The company is battling to reorganize the business after amassing debt brought on by a series of buyouts that began with the company’s privatization in 1997.

Former managers, including representatives of the buyout firm’s owners at the time, cost the firm 650 million euros ($900 million) for taking on additional debt to pay shareholders dividends in 2004, according to Seat Pagine.

BC Partners first invested in the company in 2003 with private-equity firms CVC Capital Partners Ltd., Permira Advisers LLP and Investitori Associati SpA, which remained majority shareholders until a debt reorganization in 2012 when bondholders assumed control of the company. New management has struggled to revive the business amid sluggish sales, hampering its ability to cut debt.

Spokesmen for BC Partners, CVC Capital Partners, Permira and Investitori Associati declined to comment. A spokesman for Seat Pagine declined to immediately comment.

The case is: BC Partners Ltd. v. Seat Pagine Gialle SpA, case no. 14-520, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division (London).

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