Charterhouse France becomes Chequers Capital

Charterhouse France has been acquired by its management team and re-named Chequers Capital. The newly independent private equity firm will continue to focus on mid-market buyouts mainly in France and is about half way through raising a new EURO200 million fund, which held a first closing in December. Jerome Kinas, partner at Chequers Capital, expects the fund to close by the end of the first quarter this year.

To date the new fund has completed three deals, including the acquisition of the French taxation services business of The Profit Recovery Group Inter-national, known as Groupe Alma, for $48 million. The other investments are business-to-business distributor CAE and manufacturing company, Tractel. This month Chequers Capital sold its holding in SIA, the international home furnishings and decoration group, to 3i in a secondary buyout. The firm will continue to manage Charterhouse France’s remaining portfolio of 12 to 15 companies, which Kinas expects will be on the books for a further two to four years.

Charterhouse France was part of the Charterhouse Development Capital group. The UK division of the group carried out its own buyout last year and retains the right to use the name. The group’s original parent was Credit Commercial de France, which HSBC bought in July 2000, giving rise to the division of the private equity group. The French and UK operations invested from different funds, making it easier for them to spinout separately.

In the last eight years under the Charterhouse France name the firm raised four funds totaling EURO100 million.