Moliflor Loisirs Goes To Bridgepoint –

French casino operator Moliflor Loisirs has been acquired by Bridgepoint for an undisclosed sum from Legal & General Ventures (LGV) and Royal Bank Equity Finance, formerly Royal Bank Private Equity (RBPE).

LGV and RBPE acquired French casino operator Moliflor Loisirs in March 2002 from its existing shareholder. PPM Capital (then known as PPM Ventures) for a price in excess of ?400 million.

Moliflor was founded as a family business in 1948 and went public in 1998. In June 1999, PPM Ventures took the company private and acquired the casino group of Uriage near Grenoble in a deal valued at ?77 million, giving it a total of eight casinos.

For 2005, the company is forecast to generate ?260 million in revenue. The French casino sector is estimated to be worth ?2.5 billion in annual gross gaming revenues.

Bridgepoint expects Moliflor, under the leadership of Marc Leonard who has headed the group since 1999, to consolidate its position domestically through selective acquisition opportunities and organic growth on the back of local authority initiatives as well as the roll-out of more sophisticated marketing and the development of complementary products.

Debt for the transaction is provided by Bank of Ireland, as the lead arranger. Advisers involved in this transaction included for Bridgepoint: CIBC (corporate finance), Latham & Watkins (legal) and Ernst & Young (financial due diligence); for Legal & General Ventures: Lazard (corporate finance) and Linklaters (legal).

A-Katsastus

Bridgepoint is also buying A-Katsastus from MB Funds, Tapiola, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. and Varma Mutual Pension Fund in a secondary buyout transaction. Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed. MB Funds acquired A-Inspection (formerly Finnish Motor Vehicle Inspection Ltd.), a company offering vehicle inspections, registrations and testing services as well as driving examinations, from the state of Finland in April 2003 for around ?59 million.

Under MB Funds ownership, A-Inspection has experienced strong growth in turnover recording sales of ?81.3 million in 2004. The company has succeeded in expanding its operations abroad, particularly in the Baltic Sea Region.

In addition to Finland, the company has vehicle inspection operations in Latvia, Poland, Denmark and Russia. The number of inspection stations is nearly 200, of which over 160 are situated in Finland.

Alfred Berg of ABN AMRO acted as financial adviser and Roschier Holmberg as legal adviser to the sellers.

And lastly, Bridgepoint has agreed to sell its majority stake in German coffee and water dispenser company Kaffee Partner AG to Odewald & Compagnie for an undisclosed amount. Bridgepoint acquired the position in October 2002.