Bayside Capital Backs France’s Desmet Ballestra


Bayside Capital, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, has completed an investment in Desmet Ballestra. Private equity sponsor Equistone Partners Europe and a small group of senior and junior lenders contributed, alongside Bayside Capital, to the financing. Desmet Ballestra, headquartered in France, is a provider of process engineering services, plants and equipment for the oil and fat industries and for the detergents and surfactants industries.

PRESS RELEASE

Bayside Capital (“Bayside”) today announced that it has completed an investment in Desmet Ballestra. The new-money investment forms part of a comprehensive debt restructuring aimed at reducing indebtedness and establishing debt terms consistent with the company’s financial performance. Desmet Ballestra, headquartered in France, is the world’s leading provider of process engineering services, plants and equipment for the oil and fat industries and for the detergents and surfactants industries.

“We are very excited to back Desmet Ballestra in this crucial phase of its development. Additional fresh capital, combined with the establishment of a sounder capital structure, will enable Desmet’s first-class management team to harness the company’s unmatched capabilities as it reaps the benefits from a growing order book.”
As part of the transaction, Bayside developed a comprehensive debt restructuring package which included the deferral of senior debt maturities and the conversion of junior liabilities into equity-like instruments. In addition, new super-senior credit facilities totaling €28 MM were put in place to cover liquidity requirements. Private equity sponsor Equistone Partners Europe and a small group of senior and junior lenders contributed, alongside Bayside Capital, to the super-senior new-money financing. Bayside had, in 2009 and 2010, accumulated a position in the senior debt of the company.

The transaction demonstrates Bayside’s ability to harness the combined capabilities of its secondary-market and primary-market platforms to establish sustainable capital structures for over-levered companies across Europe. The deal also highlights Bayside Capital’s growing presence in the direct-lending market. Bayside has, over the past 18 months, executed 4 primary-market transactions in Europe and 15 such transactions worldwide.

Under the leadership of a new management team, Desmet Ballestra’s financial performance has recovered substantially. EBITDA nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011, driven by a sharp increase in the order book and the benefits of an operational turnaround.

Lionel Laurant, Managing Director at Bayside Capital, commented: “We are very excited to back Desmet Ballestra in this crucial phase of its development. Additional fresh capital, combined with the establishment of a sounder capital structure, will enable Desmet’s first-class management team to harness the company’s unmatched capabilities as it reaps the benefits from a growing order book.”

About Bayside Capital

Bayside Capital, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, is an investment firm with more than €3.3 billion under management. Focused on middle-market companies, Bayside Capital invests across several segments of the primary and secondary debt capital markets with an emphasis on long-term returns. With eleven offices throughout the U.S. and Europe and over 225 investment professionals to draw upon, Bayside has the experience, resources, and flexibility required to provide capital solutions quickly, and the strategic and operational expertise to help support its investments.

Bayside Capital is active across a wide spectrum of industries, including business services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, food/agriculture, and specialty finance. With the ability to invest in all parts of the capital structure, Bayside is able to develop creative financing solutions and consummate transactions on an expedited basis.

As part of its direct-lending activities, Bayside Capital provides primary debt financing to performing middle-market companies in the United States and Europe. Bayside Capital has a broad investment mandate, under which it is able to provide senior debt, second lien, uni-tranche, mezzanine, and subordinated debt in support of refinancings, growth capital, acquisitions, and balance sheet recapitalizations. Credit facilities typically range from €15 to €100 million for companies with revenues of €50 million or more.

Bayside Capital is the credit affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private investment firm with more than €7.5 billion of equity capital under management. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. Capital has invested in more than 200 companies worldwide and has developed an impressive track record for creating value for its partners and investors.