Bridgepoint acquires jewellery retailers for €600m

The European private equity firm is buying French jewellery retailers Histoire d’Or and Marc Orian from Silverfleet Capital and Qualium Investment, respectively. Silverfleet sold Histoire d’Or for €417 million, generating a 3x exit multiple.

European private equity firm Bridgepoint has acquired French jewellery retailers Histoire d’Or and Marc Orian in a transaction totaling over €600 million.

The simultaneous acquisition and merger will result in a single entity with combined revenues of €350 million. Bridgepoint purchased Histoire d’Or for €417 million from Silverfleet Capital, which has generated a 3x exit multiple and an IRR of 27 percent on its original investment, made in 2006. Since then, the company has grown in EBITDA by 70 percent, from €27 million to €46 million.

Marc Orian, which spun out of Histoire d’Or in 1986, was acquired from Qualium Investment, a subsidiary of France’s Caisse des Dépôts.

“We identified the opportunity to acquire both assets simultaneously and merge them and that’s what drove the investment rationale for doing it,” a Bridgepoint spokesperson told PEO. “We would not have invested in either as standalone transactions.”

Bridgepoint’s investment comes from its fourth fund, which closed on €4.8 billion in November 2008 and is just under 30 percent invested.

Bridgepoint will become a majority shareholder in the jewellery group. Apax Partners and Qualium are co-investors, both acquiring minority positions. The segment in which both companies operate has grown 4.6 percent per year since 2003.

Bridgepoint is a generalist investor with a focus on the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, media and industrial sectors. The firm targets companies valued between €200 million and €1 billion, and has raised €11 billion of capital in its 25 year history.

Silverfleet Capital specialises in mid-market buyouts and manages over $1 billion of invested and committed capital. The firm closed its first fund on €670 million in April 2009, and typically invests in businesses with an enterprise value between €100 million and €300 million.