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LDC close to Antler acquisition

Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) , the private equity arm of the Lloyds Banking Group, is on the cusp of snapping up long-established luggage firm Antler after a lengthy auction process for the business. Antler has been owned by Barclays Private Equity since 2004 and has been on the market since last September. Turnaround specialists Endless and North Edge Capital are both thought to have expressed an interest in buying the business, though LDC is now thought to be close to securing a deal. Antler’s last available accounts show that the business made a £15.8m loss in 2008, compared to a profit of £3.5m in the previous year.