Bridgepoint close to Nocibé deal

The European private equity firm has teamed up with TCR and management to buy the French luxury perfume retailer currently owned by Dutch retailer Kruidvat.

Bridgepoint Capital, the UK-based European private equity investor, has reached agreement with Netherlands-based retailer Kruidvat over a deal to acquire the company’s French perfume retail division Nocibé.

Bridgepoint is backing company founder Daniel Vercamer as well as French investor TCR Industrial Managers to acquire Nocibé, one of France’s largest perfume retailers. Reports suggest that the business could be valued at up to E250m, although a Bridgepoint spokesman said that negotiations over price were still ongoing.

The Financial Times reports that the buyout team plans to expand the business internationally, adding to the 236 stores which it currently operates in France. The business reported turnover of E293m in 2001.

The sale is the second to be announced by Kruidvat in the past seven days, following an agreement to sell its drugstore businesses to Hutchison Whampoa for E1.3bn.

Bridgepoint is currently in negotiations with UK health and fitness chain Holmes Place over a £150m offer to take the company private. However it emerged yesterday that it will have to beat off competition from Cannons Health Clubs if it is to be successful, following the announcement that the rival operators were in negotiations over a possible merger.