IWP International To Sell Polbita Sp. zo.o

IWP International is selling Polbita Sp. zo.o, which owns and operates Drogerie Natura, to Interchem. Financial terms wasn’t announced. IWP is a portfolio company by Strategic Value Partners . Drogerie Natura is a Polish personal care retail chain.

PRESS RELEASE

Strategic Value Partners, LLC, on behalf of certain clients (collectively, “SVP” or “Strategic Value Partners”), is delighted to announce the sale of Polbita Sp. zo.o, owner and operator of Drogerie Natura, the Polish personal care retail chain, to Interchem S.A., the household and personal care products wholesaler owned by Resource Partners.

Polbita Sp. zo.o is owned by IWP International plc, a portfolio company of SVP.  Under SVP’s ownership, IWP has undergone a complete turnaround in performance.  The Polbita disposal is the last in the sale of all three major operating divisions of IWP over recent months.  IWP International plc experienced financial difficulties in 2005 and, after extensive discussion with its creditors, completed a debt for equity swap in March 2006.  As part of this financial restructuring, SVP took control of a majority of the restructured equity.

With guidance and assistance from SVP, the group undertook a significant operational restructuring including the closure of a manufacturing facility in the North of England, the closure of an unprofitable Canadian business, the merger of two UK based business units, the re-positioning of the Drogerie Natura retail chain and the sale of a Dutch manufacturing facility.  SVP also significantly enhanced the management team of IWP, and made them stakeholders in the business.

After three years of steadily improving profitability and cash generation IWP has recently sold the bulk of its UK activities (in the form of the brands, Collection 2000 and Batiste) to trade buyers and has now sold its last significant business unit, Polbita.  The very successful operational turnaround has created significant economic value for the stakeholders of IWP.

Victor Khosla, founder of Strategic Value Partners, said: “The sale of Polbita concludes a very successful turnaround and re-positioning of the business. We would like to thank the management and staff for their hard work and we wish the business every success with its new owners.”

Wojciech Filipczyk, CEO of Polbita, said: “This transaction is the final phase in the transformation of the business, creating a strong platform for future organic growth and a company well placed to pursue an exciting growth strategy in the Polish market.  Strategic Value Partners has given us the support and guidance to complete a remarkable transformation of the business.”

The purchaser was advised by CMS Cameron McKenna and Deloitte.  The seller was advised by Allen & Overy and DC Advisory Partners.
About Strategic Value Partners
Strategic Value Partners was founded in 2001 by Victor Khosla.  With approximately $4 billion in assets under management, SVP is a leading global investment firm with primary offices in Greenwich (CT), London, Frankfurt, and Tokyo focused on distressed, event driven and turnaround investments.  SVP seeks to create value through its substantial industry, restructuring and operating expertise.