Duke Street sells Lil-lets to Electra

Electra Private Equity, the revamped UK-listed trust, marks its return to full-scale investing in an £80m buyout of femine hygiene company Lil-lets.

Duke Street Capital, a mid market buyout firm, has sold the Lil-lets feminine hygiene division of Accantia, a UK health and beauty manufacturer, to Electra Partners and management for £80 million. 

Duke Street Capital originally backed a £225 million buyout of Accantia in November 2003. 

The sale of Lil-lets will allow Accantia’s management to focus on the Simple range of beauty products and services including skincare, toiletries and soap products for the care of sensitive skin. It is planning a large expansion programme for Simple, including the roll-out of the branded beauty day spas.

The deal marks Electra Partners’ return to full-scale investing on behalf of the quoted investment trust Electra Private Equity. The trust, which has been returning capital to shareholders as part of its long-term divestment programme, recently decided to lift the restrictions on its investing, which it had put in place as part of its defence against a takeover by rival 3i in 1999.

Electra has invested £27 million in the Lil-lets deal, backing a team led by Duccio Baldi, previously commercial director of Accantia, who will become chief executive of the new company. Barclays and Bank of Scotland provided the acquisition finance.

Rhian Davies at Electra Partners commented “This deal reflects our commitment to the new long term investment strategy at Electra.”