E137m PTP of Marc Orian

CLAM Private Equity, a subsidiary of Credit Lyonnais, has acquired a majority stake in the French jewellery retailer. Financiere MO, the newco set-up by CLAM Private Equity to carry out the transaction, has filed an offer to purchase the remaining shares in the company. The transaction was supported by senior debt provided by Credit Agricole Indosuez and mezzanine provided by Euromezzanine and Credit Agricole Indosuez.

Financiere MO acquired 56.8 per cent in Marc Orian from the company’s main shareholders Sylvain Krief (chairman and CEO), the IDI-EURIDI group, SI Finance, SFEG and SEGE. Krief has agreed to sell his remaining shares in the company, some 12.8 per cent, giving Financiere MO a controlling stake of 69.9 per cent of the company’s shares. The agreed price was EURO75 per share, a 21.5 per cent premium on the last trading price.

The newco will offer Krief and other senior executives of Marc Orian the opportunity to subscribe to 30 per cent of the company’s share capital. Krief and CLAM Private Equity bought Marc Orian with a view to consolidating and developing the company’s existing market position. Financiere MO intends to play an active role, along with the management team, as the new core shareholder.

The company was created by Krief in 1986 and now operates some 268 stores, mainly in shopping centres, under the brand names Marc Orian, Marc Orian Prestige, Tresor, Louis Berthier and Pop Bijoux. The company has been listed on the Euronext Second Marche since October 1996. For the year ending February 28, 2001 the company reported a rise of 13 per cent in consolidated earnings to FrF54.4 million and sales were up to FrF727.5 million, an 11.4 per cent increase. The company’s sales in the first quarter of 2001 have also risen by 8.5 per cent to EURO22.42 million.

This was the first transaction carried out by Equitis LBO, a CLAM fund dedicated to French LBOs. CLAM Private Equity was created by Credit Lyonnais in 2000 and aims to have EURO1.2 billion in assets under management by the end of next year.

CLAM Private Equity was advised by Ashursts. Rothschild et Cie and Clifford Chance acted for the vendors. Allen & Overy advised Credit Agricole Indosuez and Euromezzanine.