European Capital provides US$440m of mezz in six months

European Capital, the European buyout and mezzanine affiliate of American Capital, has put US$440.7m (€345m) of mezzanine financing to work in twelve private equity transactions since March of this year.

Earlier this week, European Capital provided senior facilities, subordinated debt, a revolving credit facility and equity in the US$163m buyout of Whitworths, a UK health food supplier, from Gresham, a UK mid-market private equity firm.

The majority of European Capital’s transactions since opening offices in London and Paris in mid-2005 have been mezzanine transactions co-ordinated from the Paris office. The Paris office is headed by Nathalie Faure-Beaulieu, previously managing director of Mezzanine Management, Europe’s oldest mezzanine lender.

Part of American Capital, a NASDAQ-listed investment firm with a market capitalisation of US$3.5bn, European Capital has provided mezzanine financing for a number of private equity transactions, most recently an undisclosed investment in the bolt-on acquisition of Guaber, an Italian branded consumer products business, by Eau Ecarlate, a French branded fabric care products company.

European Capital provided €35m of mezzanine bonds and equity in the secondary buyout of Eau Ecarlate last December by AXA Private Equity, the private equity arm of French insurer AXA. Other transactions include €34.5m of debt in the €450m buyout of UPC Norway, a Norwegian cable operator, by Candover.

In late September, European Capital announced that it is planning to open offices in Frankfurt and Madrid to roll out its ‘one stop buyout shop’ approach, where it provides both equity and debt in private equity transactions, across Europe.