ABN AMRO scores with French restaurant group

In its fourth investment of the year, the French arm of ABN AMRO Capital has acquired a controlling stake in restaurant chain Score Groupe in a €100 million MBO.

ABN AMRO Capital has acquired a 52 percent stake in the French Score Groupe that provides outsourced restaurant services in a €100 million ($126 million) management buyout.

Score Groupe offers restaurant services to companies and private hospitals and has a portfolio of over 360 restaurants throughout France. The group has a projected turnover of €120 million for 2004.

Alongside ABN AMRO Capital’s controlling stake, the founding management team will retain a 44 percent stake with the remaining 4 percent held by other board directors. Partner Patrice Verrier and Florent Rey of ABN AMRO Capital will join the company’s steering committee.

The transaction is ABN AMRO’s fourth French investment this year, following the buyouts of insurance company Texa, home care services company Groupe Doucet and salt producer Salins du Midi.

Last month, ABN portfolio company Retif, a French cash and carry group also acquired German cash and carry supplier Floristik.

The French team has also completed three exits in the region this year. In July, the firm sold heating company De Dietrich Thermique to Dutch-based Remeha for an undisclosed sum. In April, the firm sold industrial engineering firm d’AFE to French-Canadian private equity fund Sagard and in February sold MGE-UPS to the Schneider Group.

ABN AMRO Capital has a total of €2.1 billion under management, of which €1.9 billion is provided by Dutch financial services group ABN AMRO and €200 million from external investors.