CVC Unveils Clutch of Deals For Its Giant European Fund

In the month leading up to the July final close of the $3.1 billion CVC European Equity Partners II fund (story, page 4), CVC Capital Partners announced three new deals. A fourth transaction, a buyout of Bols Royal Distillers from Koninklijke BolsWessanen, is expected to complete at the end of August.

The $86 million (ecu 78 million) MBO of Dorna Promocin de Representacin del Deporte, a sports management and marketing group, completed in mid-June. This was CVC’s second deal in Spain this year, following the April acquisition of the hospital management company Recoletas for an undisclosed sum.

Dorna organises and exploits all the commercial rights associated with the Motorcycle Road Racing World Championship. CVC acquired the company from Corporacin Banesto, an industrial holdings subsidiary of the Banesto retail banking group. CVC and management paid $42 million for Dorna’s equity, with CVC taking an 88% stake.

As well as managing 100% of the television rights, advertising, sponsorship, hospitality and merchandising rights for the Motorcycle Road Racing Championship, Dorna owns the Ad Time rotating system, which is designed specifically for televised sports events and improves the impact and visibility of advertisements.

CVC in late June announced its acquisition of Groupe Jallatte from Etex Group for an undisclosed sum. Deutsche Bank arranged senior and mezzanine loans for the deal. Jallatte, headquartered in France, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of security and protection shoes, with sales of FFr 560 million (ecu 85 million). The company has extensive operations throughout Europe and boasts market shares of 25% in France, 24% in Spain and 15% in Germany. The group has operated in Japan for 12 years and recently set up a base in Mexico.

Jallatte distributes the leading Jallatte, Lupos, Auda, Impact and Allegro brands to 55 countries worldwide.

Jallatte’s management team, led by Bernard Tendant, is investing alongside CVC.

The new owners expect Jallatte to benefit from growth in the security and individual protection market.

In early July, recent CVC investee Britton Group Plastics acquired Merlin Flexible Packaging. CVC, which led the GBP82 million (ecu 121 million) MBO of Britton Group this April, invested further equity to support the acquisition alongside additional debt from Credit Suisse First Boston.

Merlin is a leading supplier of bespoke printed and plain polythene films and converted products for the frozen foods, drinks, beverages, building and construction and courier and mailing sectors. SmithKline Beecham, Carlsberg, Littlewoods and Everest Frozen Foods are among its major customers.

The acquired company, which will trade as Britton Merlin, is expected to benefit from purchasing and production synergies with the rest of Britton Group Plastics. The enlarged group has a pro-forma turnover of more than GBP120 million.

Britton Group Plastics acquired Merlin from 3i and NatWest Equity Partners, the backers of the company’s 1994 MBO.

CVC and the incumbent management team, led by Bols chief executive Robert Jan van Ogtrop, will provide equity funding for the MBO of Bols Royal Distillery.

RABO Bank and ING are providing senior debt facilities, a high-yield note and preferred equity.

Bols is the premier Dutch distilled drinks company and enjoys a 24% share of its domestic market, selling its products in 110 countries worldwide. The group has a strong brand portfolio and holds agency rights in the Netherlands for Jagermeister, Osborne, Freixenet and Crodino. Its Bols Liquors export brand, which encompasses products including Bols Blue and Pisang Ambon, accounts for 55% of the company’s total export sales. As well as its Netherlands headquarters, Bols has operations in Poland, Belgium, Hungary and the Czech Republic, with a combined workforce of 900 people. The group had a turnover of approximately GBP115 million (ecu 170 million) in 1997.