Advent buys French discount chain(2)

Advent International has snapped up Stokomani, a French discount retailer, from the Alpha Group.

Advent International has bought French discount retailer Stokomani from Franco-German investor Alpha Group, for an undisclosed sum.

Stokomani specialises in end-of-line and brand-name stock clearance, selling about 20,000 different products in the beauty, homeware, personal equipment, recreation and food sectors. The company employs more than 500 people in 18 stores and has more than doubled its turnover in the last five years, reaching €83 million ($111 million) in 2006.

Stokomani’s management team are re-investing alongside Advent in this latest deal, after joining forces with Alpha for the original buyout in 2003. Former president Jean-Jacques Namini will join the board, while Emmanuel Pelillo, previously the managing director, will succeed him as president.

Pelillo said the company plans to double its network of stores by 2011, while increasing its client base by several million and creating 350 jobs.

Advent, which was advised on the deal by Rothschild, has raised $10 billion in private equity capital since 1984 and completed more than 200 transactions. These include other budget retailers such as Poundland and Dollar Express.

Alpha Group, which closed its seventh fund at €750 million ($1 billion) in February last year, has offices in Frankfurt, Paris and Monaco.