ARX backs Hungarian bottle maker

The deal comes as ARX prepares to come to market with a successor fund.

ARX Equity Partners, a CEE-focused firm, has teamed up with emerging market investor Darby Private Equity to acquire Gramex 2000, a Hungarian manufacturer and bottler of non-alcoholic beverages.

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed. ARX typically invests between € 5 million and €15 million in each transaction. The firm teamed up with Darby “due to deal size considerations”, Radil Stefovski, an investment director at Arx Equity, told PEI in an email.

Gramex provides products under its own brands, as well as in partnership with local and international retailers. ARX and Darby aim to grow Gramex organically via regional expansion in the coming years, according to a statement.

ARX made the investment using its ARX CEE III, a €102 million, 2008-vintage, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division. This is the seventh deal from this fund.

Last year, the firm used this fund to back Czech Republic-based financial advisory firm Fin Centrum, according to its website. Depending on the deal size, the fund can make two to three additional investments, Stefovski told PEI.

The firm will come to market with a successor fund in the second half of the year. This vehicle will have a similar target as ARX CEE III, Stefovski said.

Darby Private Equity, the private equity arm of global investment firm Franklin Templeton Investments, used its Darby Converging Europe Fund III for the transaction. This €151 million fund closed in December 2011, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

The acquisition of Gramex is the fund’s third investment following Darby’s backing of Hisarlar, a Turkish-based construction and farm machinery business, and Orion Holding, a commercial services and supply business in Turkey, according to the firm’s website.