Electra finds ingredients for €270m LBO

Electra Partners has announced the leveraged buyout of Diana Ingredients, a BNP Paribas holding company managed by PAI Partners.

Electra Partners Europe, the European mid-market buyout firm, has invested €270 million ($333 million) in Diana Ingredients, a supplier of natural ingredients to the food and pharmaceutical industries.

The France-headquartered Diana Ingredients turned over €161 million in 2003 and has an international presence with operations in the US, Latin America, Australia and Eastern Europe.

The buyout was the 11th investment made from the Electra European Fund LP, which closed in April 2001. Following the completion of the Diana deal, the €1 billion fund is understood to be 70 percent invested. Paris-based director, Patrick Eisenchteter, stated that new fundraising was “definitely something in our minds for early 2005”.

Investors in the current fund include Abbey National, General Electric Pension Fund, Hamilton Lane Advisors (the New York State Common Retirement Fund and others), Morley Fund Management, Swiss Re and Yale University.

The Diana Ingredients deal is the second transaction for Electra in three months, following the €205 million MBO of Aliplast, the Belgian conservatory supplier, in January.

Eisenchteter said the buyout represented an investment in Electra’s core sector, being a food business with international presence, high-growth potential and the opportunity to make small acquisitions.

Electra was advised on the deal by Citigroup, Ashurst, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Advention.