Apax exits Socamel-Rescaset

Apax Partners has sold its 77.33 per cent stake in French company Socamel-Rescaset to Groupe Guillin. Both companies manufacture packaging for the food industry. Groupe Guillin now owns 96.24 per cent of Socamel-Rescaset. Both companies are listed on Paris’ Second Marche.

Apax first became involved with Socamel-Rescaset in 1990 when it bought HMI, the group’s parent company. Socamel-Rescaset was spun-out and listed in November 1994, when Apax sold a 25 per cent stake in the company. The price of the shares has more than doubled since the IPO, meaning Apax has made 2.2 times the money it originally invested.

The sale of Apax’s majority stake in Socamel-Rescaset, completed in December, was initially agreed in September, more than a year after Groupe Guillin announced it had increased its stake in the company from 14.5 per cent to 19 per cent and intended to acquire the rest. Groupe Guillin paid E29.58 per share, giving Socamel-Rescaset an enterprise value of E29.2 million and Apax a profit of around E22.5 million on the sale of approximately 770,000 shares.

Socamel-Rescaset specialises in the design and manufacture of meal distribution systems for the food industry. Its customers include supermarkets, smaller retailers and institutions such as schools, hospitals, prisons and the army. The group focuses on two complementary activities: supplying hardware (kitchen equipment to seal refrigerate, transport and reheat packaged meals) and disposable tableware.