Arcapita buys French logistics firm from Sagard

The Bahrain-based bank has completed what it says is France’s largest LBO this year, a secondary deal for Compagnie Européenne de Prestations Logistiques. Sagard has exited the company in a transaction valued between €550m and €600m after receiving 21 first-round bids from groups including Doughty Hanson and Goldman Sachs.

Arcapita Bank has strengthened its portfolio of industrial warehouse properties and logistics firms with the purchase of Compagnie Européenne de Prestations Logistiques from French private equity firm Sagard.

The deal is valued between €550 million ($808 million) and €600 million, which Arcapita has said makes it the largest LBO completed this year in France. Compagnie Européenne de Prestations Logistiques (CEPL) reported revenue of roughly €150 million in the year ended 28 February 2008, according to Sagard’s website.

Arcapita clinched the deal after 21 first-round bids and six second-round bids, beating out groups including Doughty Hanson and Goldman Sachs, largely because it was seen as a strategic buyer with exisiting synergies, Manuel Barbieux, a principal who worked on the deal, told PEO.

CEPL Weilbach: Arcapita-

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Société Générale, Calyon and ING were among the banks that provided a stapled financing package.

Led out of Arcapita’s London office, the CEPL buyout will enhance the Bahrain investment bank’s European industrial warehouse holdings. In May, the firm purchased from Merrill Lynch a Central and Eastern European logistics warehouse company, Pinnacle Real Estate.

“Arcapita currently owns more than 5 million square meters of industrial warehouse facilities globally, and the acquisition of CEPL has the potential for significant synergies with our existing portfolio of logistics investments,” Mounzer Nasr, head of Arcapita's European corporate investments, said in a statement.

Headquartered in Béville le Comte, France, CEPL employs 2,000 people across 23 sites in France and Germany. It specialises in automated preparation of multi-reference orders, doing outsourced logistics for companies in sectors including perfume, cosmetics, sportswear, shoes, apparel and high-tech goods.

The company was acquired in February 2005 for an undisclosed sum by Sagard, the France-based private equity firm associated with Canada’s Desmarais family. Sagard closed its second fund on €1 billion in December 2006.

Arcapita invests in industries including logistics, retail, consumer products, energy, specialised manufacturing and healthcare.