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Ardian offloads Groupe Charlois to ICG

This is the 12th exit of the firm’s Expansion Fund II which raised €353m in 2006

Paris-based Ardian, has agreed to sell its 31 percent stake in Groupe Charlois, a business that specialises in oak and cooperage for fine wines and spirits, to London-based Intermediate Capital Group.

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed and Ardian declined to comment beyond the statement.

Ardian first invested in Groupe Charlois in December 2009. The business, which at the time was mainly an oak stave producer, subsequently merged with the Saury Group. In 2011, Groupe Charlois completed an add-on acquisition of California-based Winemakers Cooperage from the Australian beer and wine maker, Foster’s Group. The company has also broadened its product portfolio with the development of oenological wood products, Ardian said.

Ardian made the investment in 2009 using capital from its Expansion Fund II, which raised €353 million in 2006. That vehicle, which is fully invested, comprises of six companies following the sale of Groupe Charlois. It is the 12th exit from that fund, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Ardian’s expansion funds focus on growth capital and buyout transactions through majority or minority investments in companies valued at up to €500 million in France, Italy and Germany. Last year, the firm closed its Expansion Fund III on €450 million, plus an additional €50 million for co-investments. As well as its growth fund, Ardian is also investing its LBO Fund V which closed on €2.41 billion in October 2013.

The divestment of Groupe Charlois comes a few days after Ardian agreed to acquire a 26.2 percent stake in Siaci Saint Honoré, a provider of insurance broking and employee benefit services in France. Last week, the firm also teamed up with Fosun International to complete the buyout of French resort operator Club Méditerranée, in a deal valuing the business at €939 million.