BC washes its hands of Spotless for €940m

The London-based firm has netted a 2x return by selling the laundry-aid business to a German strategic buyer.

BC Partners has agreed to sell Spotless Group, a cleaning product and insect control business, to Henkel, a German corporate, for €940 million, according to a statement.

Spotless, a France-based business, owns a portfolio of brands in the household care sector in Europe including Colour Catcher, Dylon, K2r and Vapona.

The sale to Henkel, which is known for cleaning and beauty brands like Persil and Schwarzkopf, will net BC a 2x return, according to a source familiar with the matter. BC declined to comment beyond the statement.

BC invested in the business in April 2010, and has since helped to expand Spotless in Europe via strategic acquisitions in insect control, as well as through investment in existing brands.

BC invested in Spotless using its BC European Capital VIII, a €5.88 billion vehicle which was raised in 2005. Following this exit, there are eight companies remaining in the fund, the source said.

In February, BC Partners and Silver Lake booked a 2x return when they sold healthcare services business MultiPlan to a group led by Starr Investment Holdings and Partners Group. Following that sale, BC had returned about €1.4 billion to investors in its eighth fund in the prior six months alone, PEI reported at the time.

BC is currently investing its ninth fund, a €6.7 billion vehicle which was raised in 2011. Last November, the firm used the fund to acquire The Mergermarket Group, a financial information business, from Pearson, for £382 million (€458 million, $623 million).

Other deals in the fund include Springer Science, which the firm bought last June, and Allflex, an animal tag business, which BC bought from Electra Partners in a $1.3 billion deal last May.