Equistone invests in French business(2)

It’s the ninth investment made from the firm’s EPEF IV, the first independent Equistone fund which closed on €1.5bn in January.

Equistone Partners Europe has acquired a majority stake in Bretèche Industrie, a French supplier of manufacturing and production equipment for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Céréa Capital, the private equity subsidiary of Céréa Gestion, an investor in agro-food businesses, invested alongside Equistone and members of the company’s management team, according to a statement. Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed, but it is understood the deal value was between €100 million and €150 million. 

Equistone wasn’t immediately available to comment. 

Bretèche Industrie has approximately 800 employees and has production sites in France, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Last year, the firm generated turnover of €165 million, of which the majority came from exports. 

Equistone aims to widen the company’s product base as well as consolidating its positioning in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors, it said in the statement.  It also plans to further expand the business internationally, particularly sales in emerging markets. 

It is this fund’s second investment in France. In November 2011, Equistone invested in Unither Pharmaceuticals, using its Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV, a €1.5 billion 2011 vintage, which closed in January. Fund IV, which is the first independent fund since Equistone spun out from Barclays in November 2011, has so far made nine investments. It is understood a third of the fund is now deployed. 

Last month, Equistone sold Hydrasun, a provider of fluid control equipment and solutions for the oil and gas sector, to fellow private equity investor Investcorp for an undisclosed amount.  The exit represented a 2.5x return on the roughly £40 million in equity Equistone invested in the company in 2007.