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BC Partners lists OVS, eases debt burden

The firm has not sold any shares in the Italian fashion retailer through the IPO process

BC Partners is listing its portfolio company OVS on the Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) in Milan at an offering price of €4.10 per share, according to a statement from the firm.

OVS, which sells affordable clothes and accessories, was carved out of BC Partners portfolio company Gruppo Coin, an Italian department store chain in which the firm acquired a 78.7 percent stake from buyout firm PAI Partners in May 2011 in a deal valuing the business at €1.4 billion.

Today BC Partners owns 80 percent of Gruppo Coin. OVS was spun out over the course of 2014.

OVS is offering 101 million shares for a total consideration of around €414 million, which gives the company a market capitalisation of around €931 million and an enterprise value of around €1.3 billion.

BC Partners has not sold shares in OVS in the IPO process, the firm said.

It is understood that Gruppo Coin, which prior to the listing owned 100 percent of OVS, will now own between 50.7 percent and 55.5 percent of OVS depending on whether the over-allotment option is exercised.

BC Partners declined to comment on the listing beyond the statement.

BC Partners said it would use the IPO proceeds to fund future growth and improve the company’s capital structure, including easing the company’s debt burden.

According to media reports, in early 2013 BC Partners pumped an extra €50 million into Gruppo Coin to secure a loosening of the terms of a €985 million loan. OVS’s year-end net debt is understood to be around €650 million.

Under BC Partners’ ownership, OVS has added around 200 directly operated stores to its network and acquired two smaller Italian retail chains.

BC Partners invested in Gruppo Coin using its 2005-vintage, €5.8 billion BC European Capital VIII. Other investments from the vehicle include London-based property services business Foxtons, Turkish supermarket Migros and insecticide and household products manufacturer Spotless, which the firm sold to Henkel AG in June last year in a deal valuing the business at €940 million.