HSBC Private Equity sells Ampafrance

HSBC has realised its 2001 investment in Ampafrance, a manufacturer of baby products. Details of the original transaction were undisclosed. Canada-based Dorel Industries has acquired the group in a $240 million transaction.

Since Ampafrance’s acquisition by HSBC Private Equity in June 2001 the business has shown strong growth in sales and profits and for the year to September 2002 generated sales of €175 million, up from €145 million in the year to September 2000. The group’s recent acquisition of the Baby Relax brand as well as continued innovation in the premium Bébé Confort product lines should continue to bolster growth.

Nigel Hammond, head of European investment for HSBC Private Equity, said: “The sale of Ampafrance represents a significant achievement and is our first successful exit since we have increased our commitment to the French market in 2000. We are pleased that the strong complement between Ampafrance and Dorel will allow the management to continue growing the company.”

Ampafrance’s baby products include pushchairs, car seats and related accessories. It owns four major brands Bébé Confort, Monbébé, Babidéal and Baby Relax. Ampafrance generates 41 per cent of its revenues outside of France and the company’s market position is particularly strong in Southern Europe.

HSBC Private Equity has over £1.2 billion under management and offices in the UK France, Germany and Sweden. It has supported over 400 businesses over the last thirty years and in 2002 arranged four transactions with a total investment of £207 million. Last spring, HSBC Private Equity closed its most recent fund totalling £1.2 billion and the group is set to buy itself out from its parent bank – see EVCJ September 2002, page 3.