Equistone Acquires Majority Stake in Bretèche Industrie

Equistone Partners Europe Limited has acquired a majority stake in Bretèche Industrie Group. Céréa Capital has co-invested alongside Equistone and members of the management team. The previous owners Azulis Capital (which has held the majority of the group’s equity since 2006), Unigrains, and the Group’s founder, Daniel Bréfort, have sold their interests in the group.

PRESS RELEASE

Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces that Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV (“EPEF IV”) has acquired a majority stake in Bretèche Industrie Group (“Bretèche Industrie”, “Bretèche”, “the Group”). The deal is the second investment in France made by EPEF IV, which held a successful €1.5bn final close in January 2013, and is EPEF IV’s ninth investment since the fund started investing in November 2011. Céréa Capital has co-invested alongside Equistone and members of the management team.

The previous owners Azulis Capital (which has held the majority of the Group’s equity since 2006), Unigrains, and the Group’s founder, Daniel Bréfort, have sold their interests in the Group.

Founded in 1988, Bretèche Industrie is a world leading supplier of manufacturing and production equipment for the agro-food industry (bakery and dairy) and for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. The Group employs almost 800 people and operates seven production sites in France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Arnaud Meynial, who has led the Group since 2010, has refocused the business on its core offering through a series of acquisitions and asset disposals. In 2012, the Group generated turnover of around €165m, primarily from exports.

With Equistone’s support, Bretèche Industrie now intends to embark on an ambitious growth strategy. The Group hopes to acquire companies which will complement its existing offering, and help it to grow its product offering and geographic footprint. In particular, Bretèche Industrie aims to consolidate its positioning in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors, and also develop its sales in emerging markets.

Arnaud Meynial, CEO of the Bretèche Group commented: “We are grateful for the support and strategic guidance that Azulis Capital and Unigrains have offered Bretèche Industrie, and for the smooth managerial transition which they coordinated with the founder, Daniel Bréfort. We are very pleased to welcome Equistone and Céréa Capital as shareholders in Bretèche Industrie, and believe they will enable us to accelerate the international expansion of our operations, in the agro-food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors.”

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe added: “Bretèche Industrie’s impressive track record underlines that it is possible to perform even in a challenging market. Equistone has a strong history of helping its investments expand their presence in international markets, and is delighted to be able to leverage this experience to help Bretèche achieve its growth plans. We are confident that Bretèche has the capacity to succeed in the next stage of its development.”

The transaction was led by Guillaume Jacqueau, Grégoire Schlumberger and Arnaud Thomas for Equistone, and Antoine Peyronnet and Cynthia Pareau-Rinaudo for Céréa Capital.

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Equistone

College Hill (UK media enquiries) +44 (0)207 457 2020
Antonia Coad
Zinka Bozovic
Chantal Hadley

Kablé Communication Finance (French media enquiries)
Catherine Kablé Catherine Kablé +33 (0)1 44 50 54 75
catherine.kable@kable-cf.com

Céline Pasqualini +33 (0)1 44 50 54 73
celine.pasqualini@kable-cf.com

Céréa Capital

Stratégies & Images
Anne Rein +33(0)6 03 35 92 05
anne.rein@strategiesimage.com

Notes to editors

About Equistone Partners Europe
· 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 33 investment professionals operating across France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, investing as a strategic partner alongside management teams.
· Equistone Partners Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
· For further information, please visit www.equistonepe.com

About Céréa Capital
· Céréa Capital is the private equity subsidiary of Céréa Gestion.
· A European leader in the agribusiness sector, Céréa Gestion invests in agro-food businesses and related sectors (R&D, packaging, logistics, etc.) through a range of specialist funds. Since its foundation in 2004, Céréa Gestion has carried out 42 deals and invested, along with its co-investors, over €400m.
· For further information, please visit www.cerea.com

About Bretèche Industrie Group
· Bretèche Industrie is a global leader in agro-food processing equipment, specialising in the bakery (kneading and mixing, storage and ingredient dosing) and dairy sectors (equipment for making butter and soft and hard cheeses). Bretèche also offers processing equipment for pharmaceuticals (fluidised beds, granulation, coating) and the cosmetics industry (homogenisers, mixers).
· Bretèche Industrie comprises six operating companies. Three specialise in bakery and specialist mixing (VMI, based in Montaigu, DIOSNA in Osnabrück, Estève in Rians), while the other three specialise in dairy (Tecnal in Niort, Chalon Mégard in Nantua, Simon in Cherbourg).
· The Group has a turnover of approximately €165m. It has just under 800 employees, spread across seven production sites and four international offices.
· Bretèche Industrie has evolved over many years to develop extensive expertise and a global leadership position in the design and production of equipment ranging from standard machines, such as kneading and mixing machinery for craft and industrial baking, to automated production lines including automated kneading lines and specialist production lines for Emmental cheese.
· The Group derives 28% of its turnover from emerging markets, an increase of more than 30% over the last five years.
· For further information, please visit www.breteche.com

Advisers:

Investors
· Strategic: Arthur D. Little (Vincent Bamberger, Aurelia Bettati)
· Financial: Accuracy (Arnaud Lambert, Nicolas Paillot de Montabert)
· Corporate Counsel: Paul Hastings (Olivier Deren, Arnaud Levasseur)
· Tax Counsel: Paul Hastings (Laurent Ragot)
· Debt Structuring Counsel: Paul Hastings (Mounir Letayf)
· Insurance: Marsh (Thomas Brault)

Vendors
· Legal: SJ Berwin (Thomas Maitrejean, Benjamin Garcon)
· Financial: Leonardo & Co (Bruno Stern, Jérôme Vivien, Benjamin Osdoit)
· Financial due diligence: E&Y (Laurent Majubert, Sabine Farrab)
· Strategic due diligence: Indefi (Julien Berger)
· Tax due diligence: E&Y Avocats (Vincent Fara)
· Legal due diligence: SJ Berwin (Thomas Maitrejean, Benjamin Garçon)
· Environmental due diligence: ERM (Julien Famy)

Management
· Counsel to Management: Dargent (Alexis Dargent) & Arsène Taxand (Laurent Partouche)

Senior Debt
· LCL (Valérie de la Ménardière)
· CIC (Vincent Rivaillon)
· SG (Nathalie Bleunven)
· Palatine (Thierry Jay)
· Crédit Agricole
· BNPP
· Legal advisor to senior debt lenders: De Pardieu (Christophe Gaillard, Sébastien de Branche)

Mezzanine Debt
· Capzanine (Laurent Bénard, Bruno Bonnin)
· Céréa Mezzanine (Hubert Lange, Cécile Jouannic)
· Legal adviser to mezzanine lenders: SJ Berwin (Olivier Vermeulen)