Electra sells Lil-lets to trade buyer

The sale of the feminine hygiene brand, which is understood to have generated a ‘close to 1.5x return’, is Electra’s third exit this year after making 15x on Allflex and 3x return on Esure.

Electra Partners has agreed to sell its interest in feminine hygiene brand Lil-lets Group to Premier Foods, a South African consumer goods manufacturer. 

Financial details of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals in South Africa, were undisclosed, but Electra will receive gross proceeds of £37 million, according to a statement. 

It is understood Electra sold the business in a competitive process run by PwC. A number of strategic bidders were interested. 

Electra declined to comment further. 

Lil-lets sells a selection of feminine hygiene products. Electra invested £27 million in Lil-lets in 2006 as part of an £80 million deal which saw fellow UK firm Duke Street sell the business to Electra and management. 

“Lil-lets has undergone a transformation under Electra’s ownership and is now positioned as a strong brand in the UK and as a growth business in Africa. Successfully developing the African business has been a key part of the story so far,” said Rhian Davies, a partner at Electra Partners. Premier Foods would “be able to accelerate Lil-lets’s African growth plans,” she added.

The deal comes shortly after Electra acquired holiday parks operator South Lakeland Parks for £47 million, the firm's fifth investment this year. 

With the sale of Lil-lets, Electra has now secured three exits so far this year. In May, Electra sold animal ID tag business Allflex to BC Partners. The deal, which valued the company at more than $1.3 billion, generated a 15x return and 28 percent internal rate of return for Electra. In March, the firm also netted a 3x return on the £1.2 billion (€1.41 billion, $1.83 billion) IPO of UK auto insurer Esure.