Doughty realises Fund II with €1.7bn exit

The European firm’s now fully-realised second fund has given LPs a 2.7x return.

Doughty Hanson has fully realised its second private equity fund with the sale of the world’s biggest seafood can-maker Impress Coöperatieve to Irish glass manufacturer Ardagh Glass for €1.7 billion.

The fund, which raised DM 1 billion in 1995, has produced a return multiple of 2.7x and an 84 percent gross internal rate of return, according to a Doughty Hanson press release and based on DM-denominated performance.

Both Funds II and III made investments in Impress back in 1997 and 2000, respectively. The total returns to investors from the sale were €688 million, which equates to a return of 2.6x for both funds.

The sale also leaves Fund III now almost totally realised, with only one investment, LM Wind Power, remaining. Fund III raised €2 billion in 1998, and as of March 31st 2010 was showing a total return multiple of 2.08x and an IRR of 15.7, according to documents published on the Washington State Investment Board’s website.

Doughty originally created Impress through the merger of French metal conglomerate Pechiney’s packaging arm and German packaging company Schmalbach Lubeca in 1997.

Now the world’s largest manufacturer of seafood cans, and the second-largest can-maker in Europe, Impress has annual sales of €1.8bn, employing 7,500 people across the world and making cans for household names like Del Monte, Crown Paints, John West and Procter and Gamble.

Some of its acquisitions have included Heinz’s US can-making assets, as well as US packaging giant Amorc’s Australasian can-making facilities.

Doughty recently bought collapsed Candover Partners’ financial advisory service Equity Trust for €350 million, which it now plans to merge with a portfolio company, business administration firm TMF.