Change Capital Partners in second deal in a week

Change Capital Partners has become the controlling shareholder in a company formed from the merger of four Spanish electrical goods retailers in its second deal in a week, and may raise its second fund in 2007.

Change Capital Partners, a European mid-market private equity firm, has funded the merger of Spanish electrical goods retailers Radio Castilla, Condigesa, UCASA and Grupo Noain

Change: major shareholder in electrical goods retailer

Change is the largest shareholder of the new holding company, which does not yet have a name.  The firm did not disclose the size of its share or any financial details.  Roger Holmes, partner at Change, said the management of the previously family-owned businesses have reinvested about €20 million ($27 million).

Holmes said this would not necessarily be the last investment from Change’s €300 million fund, although it has been substantially invested.  He also said that Change might raise its second fund in 2007, with a sector focus of retail and consumer goods.  He said the second fund’s target would be “somewhat larger than the last.”  Dow Jones reported that the second fund is expected to reach up to €600 million.

The company now has 116 own stores and more than 1,600 franchised stores, operating under the brands of Master Cadena, an appliances retailer, and Idea, an electrical goods retailer.

Holmes told PrivateEquityOnline: “This is a great opportunity in Spain.  It’s a combination of the sector and the situation in the country.  We saw an opportunity for consolidation as a lot of sectors are fragmented.”

Holmes said that bolt-on acquisitions would be possible.

Garrigues gave legal advice to Change while Pricewaterhouse Coopers provided financial services.

Last week Change and Synergo, an Italian private equity firm, acquired Unopiù, a European outdoor furniture business with a turnover of around €80 million, for an undisclosed amount as equal shareholders.

Change was created in January 2003 by Luc Vandevelde, chairman of Carrefour, a supermarket operator, and former chairman of Marks & Spencer, a UK department store chain.