European Capital supports Qualium’s buy of biscuit maker Poult

European Capital, an affiliate of American Capital, has arranged 26 million euros in mezzanine financing to support Qualium Investissement’s acquisition of Groupe Poult. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Groupe Poult is a maker of sweet biscuits.

PRESS RELEASE

ST. PETER PORT, Guernsey, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — European Capital Limited and its consolidated subsidiaries (“European Capital”) announced today that they arranged the €26 million mezzanine financing supporting the acquisition of Groupe Poult (“Poult”), the number one French private label manufacturer of sweet biscuits, by funds advised by Qualium Investissement (“Qualium”). In this transaction, European Capital invested a total of €13 million in mezzanine bonds along with CIC Mezzanine. European Capital is Agent of the mezzanine facility and will appoint an observer to Poult’s Board of Directors.

European Capital previously invested in multiple debt facilities (mezzanine, second lien, senior debt) to support LBO France’s buyout of Groupe Poult in 2007. In December 2013, European Capital received proceeds of €25.5 million and realized an IRR of 13.9% over the life of the investment.

Founded in 1883, Poult is the leading French private label manufacturer of sweet biscuits and the #2 overall French biscuit manufacturer. Poult customers include all of the large mass retail and hard discount chains in France. Headquartered in Toulouse, Poult operates five production sites and employs approximately 800 people. Over recent years, Poult has consolidated its leading position in France and successfully developed its operations abroad.

“We are pleased to partner with Qualium and to support them in their acquisition of Poult,” stated Tristan Parisot, Managing Director of European Capital Financial Services Limited (“ECFS”). “This investment demonstrates our ability to provide tailor-made financing solutions, from mezzanine to unitranche, to industry leaders in the mid-market. We remain focused on originating high quality private debt opportunities in midcap businesses with commitments of up to €100 million across Europe.”

“European Capital is delighted to once again accompany the management of Poult in the next stages of the company’s growth,” stated Stephane Legrand, Managing Director of ECFS. “Since 2007, we have been impressed by management’s ability to develop the company’s presence in growing export and contract manufacturing markets while further consolidating Poult’s leading position within the resilient French market.”

“With a proven track record of innovation, top-notch production platforms covering all key technologies, and the support of Qualium, we are firmly convinced that Poult is well positioned to further outperform market growth and become a leading global player,” added Kevin Abrial, Investment Director at ECFS.

“European Capital proved to be a reliable and trusted financing partner in every developmental stage of the company,” said Carlos Verkaeren, CEO of Poult. “We appreciate their comprehensive understanding of the key stakes and future challenges for Poult and their valuable involvement as a Board Observer.”

Jean Eichenlaub, Chairman and CEO at Qualium said “As a long-time trusted partner of Poult, European Capital has built up an in-depth knowledge of the company and its sector as well as the capacity to support the management team’s strategic ambition, which could prove instrumental in the company’s future developments.”

ABOUT EUROPEAN CAPITAL
European Capital is an investment company for pan-European equity, mezzanine and senior debt investments with €0.8 billion in assets under management. European Capital is a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital, Ltd (“American Capital”). It is managed by European Capital Asset Management Limited (the “Investment Manager”), a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital. The Investment Manager has offices in London and Paris with 55 employees. Since its inception, European Capital Limited has invested €3.6 billion in over 100 companies in Europe. European Capital and its affiliates will consider senior, mezzanine and unitranche debt investment opportunities from 10 million to 100 million in either euros or sterling and up to 400 million for One Stop Buyouts®. For further information, please refer to www.EuropeanCapital.com.

ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL
American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) is a publicly traded private equity firm and global asset manager. American Capital, both directly and through its asset management business, originates, underwrites and manages investments in middle market private equity, leveraged finance, real estate, energy and infrastructure, and structured products. American Capital manages $19 billion of assets, including assets on its balance sheet and fee earning assets under management by affiliated managers, with $84 billion of total assets under management (including levered assets). Through an affiliate, American Capital manages publicly traded American Capital Agency Corp. (Nasdaq: AGNC) with approximately $9 billion of net book value, American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (Nasdaq: MTGE) with approximately $1 billion of net book value and American Capital Senior Floating, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACSF) and American Capital Senior Floating, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACSF) with approximately $151 million of net book value. From its eight offices in the U.S. and Europe, American Capital and its affiliate, European Capital, will consider investment opportunities from $10 million to $750 million. For further information, please refer to www.AmericanCapital.com.

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