3i sells Groupe Vendome

3i is to sell its interest in Groupe Vendôme to Johnson & Johnson Consumer France SAS for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in Q2 2006. 3i backed the management buyout of the group, led by Marcel Elias, CEO (and previously CFO of the company since 1967) in 2002 for an undisclosed sum.

Groupe Vendôme’s brands include: Le Petit Marseillais, a line of shower gels, soaps, bath and hair care products; Laboratories Vendôme, dermatological skincare products; and Prim’Age, a baby toiletries brand. The business is based in the Dijon region of France and employs approximately 130 staff, primarily in sales and marketing functions. In May 2004, Groupe Vendôme sold its manufacturing activities to a specialised subcontractor. And in March 2005 it acquired the Persavon brand to reinforce the organic growth of the company. 3i then refinanced the company, selling half of its interest to Groupe Vendôme management, which has held shares since the initial MBO.

Advisors to Groupe Vendôme included Muriel Petit of BNPP (financial) and Bernard Jacquet of Jurifib (legal.) Monique Sentilles-Dupont of Lovells advised 3i.