Paris, 14 October 2010 - Bridgepoint and Apax Partners, which co-invests with Altamir Amboise, have joined forces to acquire the two leading jewellery retailers in France, Histoire d'Or and Marc Orian, from their respective shareholders Silverfleet Capital and Qualium Investissement. Bridgepoint is the majority shareholder in the new Group alongside Apax Partners/Altamir Amboise and the management team; Qualium Investissement retains a minority stake.
The purpose of this operation is to create a key player in Europe with a network of over 500 stores primarily located in shopping centres, of which some 20 stores in Italy, Belgium and Portugal. It will give the Group critical mass and enable it to continue expanding its distribution network in France and internationally, based on the strengths and complementarities of both companies, particularly in terms of product offering, commercial know-how and store networks.
The new Group employs 2,700 staff and posted revenues of ¤350 million in 2009. The management team of Histoire d'Or led by Eric Belmonte, Jean-Philippe Zamit and Jean-Pierre Chantrel will lead the new entity.
Bridgepoint and Apax Partners have many years' experience in the jewellery retail sector. They have both been shareholders in Histoire d'Or: Bridgepoint from 1991 to 1997 and the Apax funds from 1998 to 2006.
This ¤600 million transaction is financed with more than 50% of equity, provided by funds managed by Bridgepoint, Apax Partners, the management and Qualium, and by bank debt arranged by a pool of banks that includes Natixis, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole CIB and Lloyds.
"Bringing Histoire d'Or and Marc Orian together will create a national champion that is capable of developing internationally and modernising in what has been a conservative sector. These are two complementary brands with top-quality teams," says Eric Belmonte, Chairman and CEO of the new Group.
"Since its beginnings in 1991 when Bridgepoint boosted the development of Histoire d'Or through partnering with Codhor, Bridgepoint now hopes to further support the development of this new leader by offering the expertise of its European network," says Benoît Bassi of Bridgepoint. He adds: "Eric Belmonte leads a highly entrepreneurial team, committed for the long-term, with a strategic vision and recognised operational excellence that allows the Group to benefit from the strength of both companies. The quality of management is a key factor in our decision to invest."
"We are delighted to partner again with Eric Belmonte's team and to finally succeed in merging Histoire d'Or and Marc Orian. We will make all our experience in the jewellery sector and in specialised retail in general available to the Group, to strengthen its leadership in France and accelerate its European development," says Bruno Candelier, partner of Apax Partners.
About Altamir Amboise
Altamir Amboise is a listed private equity company, targeting NAV per share growth in line with the top-performing private equity players.
The Company co-invests with the funds managed by Apax Partners, a leading private equity firm with over thirty years of investing experience. It offers investors access to a diversified portfolio of fast-growing companies across Apax's sectors of specialisation: Technology, Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare, Business and Financial Services.
Altamir Amboise is listed on Euronext Paris, Compartment B, ticker: LTA, ISIN code: FR0000053837. It is listed in the CAC Small 90 and SBF 250 indices. The total number of Altamir Amboise ordinary shares in circulation at 31 December 2009 was 36,512,301.
For further information: www.altamir-amboise.fr
Marie Ployart - Investor relations
Tel.: +33 1 53 65 01 33
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