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Doughty returns €350m in refinancing

Impress Group, a Dutch-based metal can producer created by Doughty Hanson in 1997, has been refinanced for €1bn after several acquisitions in the past six years.

Doughty Hanson has completed a refinancing of its portfolio company Impress Group, returning €350 million ($443 million) to investors.

Doughty sponsored the formation of Impress, a consumer metal packager, in 1997 through the merger of the metal packaging operations of Penchiney and Schmalbach Lubeca. Since that time the group has acquired metal can producer Ferembal and the US can-making assets of HJ Heinz, which the company acquired in 2000.

Since 2000 the group has also acquired Alcan Sutton in the UK and, earlier this year, US Can’s European operations. Impress is now the second-largest European supplier of food cans and is the worldwide leader in the seafood can market.

The refinancing was completed on Friday through a private placement of €750 million euro-  and US dollar-denominated senior secured floating rate notes and €250 million of senior subordinated notes. €480 million of the proceeds has been loaned to Impress Cooperatieve, the newly formed holding company of the Impress Group. The loan has been primarily used to acquire the company’s preference and ordinary shares from its previous shareholders. Doughty Hanson remains the group’s controlling shareholder.

To date, the total distributed to investors in Doughty Hanson & Co Funds II and III from the Impress investment is €434 million, representing 1.4x investment cost in Euros and 1.7x in US dollars.