Apax sells jewellery chain

PPM Capital is acquiring French jewellery distributor Histoire d’Or, in a secondary buyout transaction from a group of investors led by Apax Partners for a consideration of €230m. The transaction is subject to French competition authorities’ approval.

Apax and Altamir acquired a 38% stake in the business in 1998 from Natwest Securities France and Quilvest for an undisclosed sum. Apax increased its share to 75% in 2003 when it acquired a share in the business from Pechel Industries.

Histoire d’Or retails gold, silver and costume jewellery including watches via a network of 119 stores. The majority of stores are situated in shopping centres throughout France with a small number located in city centres, including four stores located in Spain and Portugal. In 2006, the company has plans to open a further 14 stores. The business generated revenues of €136m in the year to 30 September 2005 and employs 750 personnel.

Debt facilities are being provided by Calyon and the Histoire d’Or management team will be re-investing alongside PPM. PPM was advised by JP Morgan.