GIMV sells stake in IFE

The Belgian investment company, GIMV, has sold its interest in home furnishing company Interiors for Europe (IFE). Mitiska, a retail holding company also based in Belgium, has acquired the 26.68 per cent stake bringing its ownership of the company to 80.79 per cent.

IFE owns 100 per cent of the Belgian floor coverings company Carpetland and 50 per cent of troubled German carpet retailer Frick Teppichboden Supermaerkte. GIMV invested o15.5 million in IFE a year ago alongside Danish group Jensen Taepper, which acquired a 26.68 per cent stake in IFE in exchange for a 23 per cent share in Carpetland. The investment was used to refinance a credit facility set up to fund the group’s acquisition of Frick. Jensen Taepper retains its 19.21 per cent stake in IFE.

Citing a fall in consumer confidence, Frick announced a drop in its sales figures for the second half of last year. The company was also unable to meet the objectives of its strategic plan, which included the integration of the two businesses, modification of the mix of products and reduction of costs. Frick filed for insolvency in March this year.

GIMV had an option to sell its position in IFE to Mitiska between July 2003 and July 2005 but the investor sought to negotiate an earlier exit when Frick announced its disappointing results. The position was sold at the book value it was held at on December 31, 2001 following an undisclosed write-down on the investment last year.