HgCapital leaves Sanctuary

A UK female bodycare brand, the Sanctuary Spa also runs a spa service in Covent Garden, which serves 64,000 guests a year. HgCapital backed an MBO in 2005, and since then the business has introduced new product lines and expanded into the US and the Far East. Alice Avis, the former director of marketing at Marks & Spencer, was appointed CEO at around the same time as the buyout, which cost a total of £24m.

HgCapital originally acquired a stake in the business in 1995, buying out minority shareholders 10 years later to take a controlling share.

Richard Mathews, head of consumer and leisure at the London-headquartered private equity house, said: “This is another example of HgCapital investing in a strong brand and a great management team. Alice and her team have done a fantastic job of building this much-loved brand into a household name, growing the business through the introduction of new product categories and successfully expanding internationally. The Sanctuary Spa has excellent prospects for further growth and we wish everyone at the company well for the future.”

This is the firm’s eighth exit since April 2007, which have generated a combined total of 3x original cost and an IRR of around 50%. Its previous realisation came in November 2007, when Hofmann Menü, a German provider of frozen food products, was sold to Dutch buyouts house Gilde.