BPCE Sells Meilleurtaux.com to Equistone

BPCE has completed the sale of Meilleurtaux.com to funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited. Founded in 1999, Meilleurtaux.com is a provider of advice to consumers looking for mortgage solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

BPCE today announces the completion of the sale of its 100% holding in Meilleurtaux.com (“the Company”) to funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”). Founded in 1999, Meilleurtaux.com is a leading provider of advice to consumers looking for mortgage solutions.

BPCE entered into exclusive discussions with Equistone on 18 February 2013 regarding the sale of Meilleurtaux.com. The deal is in line with BCPE’s strategic plan to dispose of joint ventures and non-core subsidiaries.

The sale process, which has been favourably received by the various bodies representing Meilleurtaux.com’s employees, was completed on 16 April 2013.

Equistone is a mid-market investment firm which partners with management teams to support buyouts of high-performing businesses with growth potential and leading market positions. For Equistone, Meilleurtaux.com represents a dynamic, high-profile business with significant potential for further development.

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe, commented: “Equistone has been active in the French market for over twenty years and has been involved with a significant number of businesses at all stages of their development.

“Whilst real estate accounts for a major portion of French people’s budgets, currently only 20% of the French population use brokers and this is set to increase. With its high-profile brand and a network of over 160 franchise offices, Meilleurtaux.com is ideally placed to benefit from this potential for growth.”
Meilleurtaux.com’s management team is pleased with the outcome of the deal and will continue to lead the business following the strategy in place since 2011. The business is well placed for growth and has maintained stable financial results with net growth in 2012.

Hervé Hatt, CEO of Meilleurtaux.com, added: “We are delighted that Equistone has chosen to support Meilleurtaux.com’s growth and current business strategy. Equistone’s partnership will enable the business to continue to provide its customers with the expert, independent support that they need in this uncertain economic climate.”

François Pérol, Chairman of the Management Board of BPCE, commented: “Meilleurtaux.com is well placed to continue its growth with an acquirer which is convinced of the Company’s development potential, and which will support the experienced management team that has successfully led the development of the company.”

Advisers:
Lawyers for the transaction: SJBerwin (Thomas Maitrejean, Augustin Fleytoux)
Strategic due diligence: Roland Berger (Philippe Removille, Ciril Faïa, Benjamin Entraygues)
Financial due diligence: 8-Advisory (Lionel Gérard, Christian Klingler, Hicham Ezzahiri)
Legal due diligence: Racine (Mélanie Coiraton-Mavré)
Adviser to management: Callisto (Eric Delorme, Paul Lorenzoni)
Legal Counsel: Jeantet (Nicolas Partouche, Guillaume Fornier)
Corporate banking: HSBC (Philippe Diers, Eric Emore)
Financial due diligence: KPMG (Raphaël Jacquemart)

About Groupe BPCE:
Groupe BPCE, France’s second-largest banking group, is built on two autonomous and complementary networks of commercial banks: the 19 Banques Populaires and the 17 Caisses d’Epargne. In the field of property loans, the Group also includes Crédit Foncier de France. Through its subsidiary Natixis, it is a major player in investment banking, asset management and financial services. Groupe BPCE has over 36 million customers and enjoys a widespread presence in France with 8,000 branches, 117,000 employees and over 8.6 million cooperative members.

About Equistone:
Equistone Partners Europe Limited is an independent investment firm owned and managed by the former executives of Barclays Private Equity. In January 2013, Equistone successfully completed the final closing of Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV with total capital commitments of €1.5bn. The Company is one of Europe’s leading investors in mid-market buyouts with a successful track record spanning over 30 years, with more than 350 transactions completed in this period. Equistone has a strong focus on change of ownership deals and aims to invest between €25m and €125m of equity in businesses with enterprise values of between €50m and €300m. The Company has a team of 35 investment professionals operating across France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, investing as a strategic partner alongside management teams. Equistone Partners Europe Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For further information, please visit www.equistonepe.com

About Meilleurtaux:
Meilleurtaux has been providing advice to consumers looking for mortgages since its foundation in 1999. It puts them in touch with banks which are likely to provide the best financing solution for their needs, in terms of interest rates, payment protection insurance, etc. Meilleurtaux’s range of services has expanded to cover other types of loans as well as insurance.

Meilleurtaux press contact
Sandrine Allonier: 01 41 97 98 67
sallonier@meilleurtaux.com
www.meilleurtaux.com

BPCE press contacts
Sabine Baudin: 01 58 40 47 62
Sonia Dilouya: 01 58 40 58 57
presse@bpce.fr – www.bpce.fr

@GroupeBPCE
Equistone press contacts
Kablé Communication Finance
Catherine Kablé: 01 44 50 54 75
Catherine.kable@kable-cf.com
Céline Pasqualini: 01 44 50 54 73
Celine.pasqualini@kable-cf.com

College Hill: +44 (0)207 457 2020
Antonia Coad: Antonia.Coad@collgehill.com
Zinka Bozovic: Zinka.Bozovic@collegehill.com

Antonia Coad | Associate Partner
D +44 (0)20 7457 2023
M +44 (0)7790 907771

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