French VC buys into bottle packaging

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners has partnered with Belgian investor Adrien Invest SCRL to purchase a minority stake in France’s Sparflex Group.

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, the Paris-based venture capital arm of Edmond de Rothschild Group, has acquired a minority stake in Sparflex Group, a French bottle packaging business.
Pierre-Michel Passy, chairman of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, said that the firm had invested €8 million ($10 million) and “very little leverage” alongside Belgian investment firm Adrien Invest SCRL to acquire a minority stake in Sparflex.
The firm funded the deal from its Winch Capital fund, which closed on €165 million in February, just above an original target of €150 million set the firm began marketing the fund at the end of 2005.
Passy said that the fund has invested approximately €28 million from six investments including Sparflex. He added that a further two investments should be completed by the end of the month.
Passy said that the investment in Sparflex would allow the company to make further acquisitions, following its purchase of VKN, a German producer of capsules, last year.
Founded in 1984 and listed on Euronext since 1999, Sparflex specialises in designing and producing packaging solutions for wine and spirits bottles. The company employs 450 people and has reported sales of €60 million.