Cognetas and Sagard win €670m Desjonquères race

Buyout firms Cognetas and Sagard have triumphed in the race to buy Desjonquères, the bottle-making division of French group Saint-Gobain.

European mid-market buyout firm Cognetas and French group Sagard have completed the €670 million acquisition of Desjonquères, a pharmaceutical bottle manufacturer, from French company Saint Gobain.

Saint Gobain will retain a minority interest of 20% in the company and will continue to be represented on the board of directors. The management team, led by François Dujardin, will also hold a small stake in the bottle manufacturer.

Cognetas and Sagard beat a number of private equity and trade buyers to win the auction for Desjonqueres. French firm PAI partners and UK group Bridgepoint are just two of those thought to be involved in the bidding.

Desjonquères employs 6,000 people and operates 20 furnaces worldwide, with a presence in France, Germany, Spain, USA, Russia, Brazil and China. The bottle manufacturer counts a number of big pharmaceutical and perfume companies as clients, including LVMH, Proctor & Gamble and L’Oréal. In 2006 the business had sales of around €600m and it has 6,000 employees worldwide.

Edward Koopman of Cognetas said: “We are delighted to have gained a unique asset in the glass packaging industry, one which is a clear market leader in its field and well positioned to leverage its footprint and expertise in the western world and expand into developing markets.”

The deal has been approved by the European Union’s Competition Commission.

Cognetas manages funds of €2.26bn. Its investments range across a number of different sectors, including business services, industrial, consumer, financial services and healthcare.