Apax is to sell its holding in ALAIN AFFLELOU, the French optical retail chain, following a definitive agreement reached with buyer Bridgepoint, in a €500m deal. Apax, along with the founder of the company Alain Afflelou, will sell a combined 39% stake to an investment vehicle controlled by Bridgepoint and then re-invest its remaining 22.1% into the new vehicle, which in total will own a 66.1% interest.
Bridgepoint will also offer the same share price to minority shareholders providing the deal meets with the approval of the antitrust regulator in France.
The business has been on the Paris Stock Market since 2002 following its purchase by Apax in 2000. Following its float Apax held a 24% stake, and has reduced its stake since then. It acquired the company from private equity firm Alpha Group, which had been a shareholder since 1997.