In brief exit stategies

ISIS Equity Partners has realised its investment in Fat Face, with the sale of the UK lifestyle brand to Advent International. Tim Slade and Jules Leaver, the founders of the business, will continue to hold a substantial stake in Fat Face after the secondary buyout. The founders relinquished their day-to-day management roles two years ago and since then CEO Louise Barnes and financial director Stuart Owens have driven the company’s growth.

Fat Face currently has approximately 5% of the active casual wear market in the UK, making it the market leader. The market grew by 32% between 2002 and 2004 and is predicted to grow by 12% per annum over the medium term, compared with the general clothing sector at 4% per annum. Under Advent’s ownership, some 15–20 new stores will be targeted each year. Fat Face is set to open its 100th store this summer.

  • Enskilda Securities has launched the €50m IPO of AffectoGenimap. The company was formed in September last year through the combination of Finnish business intelligence and data warehousing software supplier Affecto and digital mapping producer Genimap.

The merger followed the combination of technologies by key clients of both Affecto and Genimap and allows the company to integrate separate databases operated by many of its clients. The company is owned by members of its management, private equity firm Eqvitec Partners, Fenno Management and book publisher WSOY. The company has operations in Finland and across the Baltic states following the acquisition of Informacines Technologijes last year. AffectoGenimap achieved turnover of approximately €45m for 2004 and Ebitda of €6.75m.

  • The IPO of French battery company Saft, which will see Doughty Hanson reduce its holding, is expected to begin pre-marketing in May and to be priced in June. Goldman Sachs is bookrunner, with a syndicate of BNP Paribas, Cazenove and HSBC CCF. Saft had an enterprise value of €410m at the time of Doughty Hanson’s purchase in October 2003, and currently has debt of about €300m.
  • Sydsvenska Kemi, parent company of the Perstorp Group, which is controlled by the Industri Kapital 2000 Fund, has sold Vyncolit and Vyncolit North America to Sumitomo Bakelite for SKr856m. The divestment is in line with Perstorp’s strategy to focus on its core business, specialty chemicals.

Under IK’s ownership, Perstorp has broadened Vyncolit’s co-operation with important customer groups, including the automotive industry. This co-operation was further strengthened through the acquisition of the mouldable composite activities of Rogers Corporation in 2002, enabling Vyncolit to gain a foothold in North America. “The sale of Vyncolit to Sumitomo Bakelite has enabled Perstorp to realise excellent value for the business,” said Anders Lundin of Perstorp.