Bonpoint is a French luxury childswear brand in which ECRP took a 70% stake following a management buyout in October 2003. Since that time 25 new stores or concessions have opened, with a particular drive to increase its presence in the Asian market by targeting Japan and China. The refinancing took the form of a €24m leverage recap. The convertible bonds held by the shareholders of Bonpoint were fully reimbursed as well as the remainder of the senior debt facilities set-up in 2003. The deal will enable the company to finance its store roll-out programme. Leverage under the new arrangement stands at 4.5x EBITDA. Eighty-five percent of the fund’s investment in Bonpoint has been returned to investors.
The second recapped business, Via Location, is France’s third largest independent truck rental company and has been under ECRP’s control since January 2004. The €86m refinancing again saw the full reimbursement of the convertible bonds held by the shareholders and the mezzanine debt. Following the recap, the company’s total net debt stands at 4.6x EBITDA, and allowed ECRP to return 92% of the fund’s investment to investors.
The firm is still investing from its maiden fund, its 2004 €210m LBO fund. The vehicle is 63% invested across seven portfolio companies. Aside from Bonpoint and Via Location, these include Médiascience, a French publisher and distributor of equipment for science teaching; H3S Group, the second-largest publisher of free specialised magazines in the country; Lavance, one of the two leading French roll-over car-washing system installation and maintenance businesses; Acteon, a maker of small equipment and consumables for dentists; and Viadom, the French home services company dedicated to hairdressing at home, housekeeping and gardening.