Cinven buys €1bn French retail business from AXA

Cinven has paid a reported €1 billion for Modamax, the holding company behind European retailer Camaïeu, which was previously owned by French buyout firm AXA Private Equity.

European buyout firm Cinven has bought Modamax, the holding company that controls French fashion business Camaïeu, from AXA Private Equity.


Cinven, which has acquired a 64.5 percent stake, paid about €1 billion ($1.3 billion) for the business, according to Bloomberg.


AXA, which bought a controlling stake in the business for about €200 million in January 2005, tried to buy out the other shareholders two years ago, but failed to do so.


Camaïeu makes clothing for young women and operates 557 stores in 8 countries. It generated sales of €552 million and a net income of €81 million in 2006.


AXA Private Equity has offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Milan and Zurich, and invests in a diverse range of funds. The firm has more than €10 billion under management.


Since 1988, Cinven has made investments with a total enterprise value of €55 billion in 88 European buyouts. It closed its fourth fund in June 2006 on €6.5 billion – at the time, the largest European buyout fund ever raised. Previous investments in the retail sector include German fashion company CBR, which it recently sold to EQT.