AXA increases Camaieu holding

The French private equity firm has been successful in its second bid for the French women’s clothing retailer.

AXA Private Equity, the buyout arm of the French insurer, has completed the purchase of hedge fund Sandell Asset Management’s 10.4 percent shareholding in French clothing retailer Camaieu.

Modamax, a holding company owned by AXA Private Equity, made a bid of €130 per share of Camaieu, valuing the company at around €788 million ($935 million).

Following the acquisition, AXA Private Equity now holds 52.8 percent of the share capital and 64.7 percent of the voting rights.

According to AXA Private Equity, Modamax will file a simplified tender offer on all of the remaining shares of Camaieu it does not hold in the next few days. The offer will be at the same price of €130 per share.

AXA Private Equity initially made an offer of €85 per outstanding share in April 2005, following the acquisition of a 37.7 percent stake from Camaieu’s family owners and members of senior management.

Founded in 1984 by Jean-Pierre Torck, Camaieu is a distributor of women’s ready-to-wear garments. In 2004, revenue amounted to €393 million from 442 retail outlets in eight countries.