Exit and acquisition for Enterprise

Polish Enterprise Fund and Polish Enterprise Fund IV, managed by the €1.6bn private equity house Enterprise Investors, fully exited its 60% stake in Agros Nova, a Polish juice and jam producer. EI funds sold the shares to Sonda which is owned by the Niewiadomski family, EI’s partner in the Agros Nova investment. The acquisition was financed with a debt package provided by a consortium of Polish banks such as WBK, Rabobank and BPH. The proceeds of the sale were US$84m, a 2.5x investment multiple.

Agros Nova was set up in 2003 by merging Sonda with Agros Fortuna, which Enterprise Investors bought from Pernod Ricard. The merger was the largest ever completed in the Polish food processing industry. Agros Nova’s sales increased by five fold and its annual turnover exceeds US$260m.

The company has become Poland’s predominant producer of jams, with a 40% marketshare, and the country’s second largest producer of juice. The company intends to pursue opportunities in the own label brand market in Western Europe.

In related news, Polish Enterprise Fund V and Polish Enterprise Fund VI recently purchased 100% of the Komfort retail chain. Half the buyout transaction amount was financed with acquisition debt provided by Bank Zachodni WBK.

Komfort is Poland’s largest network of stores selling wall-to-wall carpet and rugs as well as laminate and hardwood floors. In 2006, Komforts 100 stores in Poland achieved sales of around €90m and net profit close to €5m.

Agnieszka Kowalska, a partner at Enterprise Investors plans to extend the Komfort brand into other CEE countries.

Enterprise is the largest private equity firm in Central and Eastern Europe, since 1990 it has raised six funds totalling €1.6bn in assets.