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Gilde does two deals in a day

The Benelux-focused buyout firm has bought a subsidiary of the UK food business Uniq and sold CABB, a German specialty chemicals business to Axa Private Equity.

Gilde, a Benelux buyout firm, has paid €60 million for Uniq Belgium, a producer and marketer of private label and branded spreadable salads. It has bought the business from UK’s Uniq, itself the subject of a buyout bid in 2005.

A pension fund hole forced UK firm Duke Street Capital to abandon its approach.

Gilde made the Uniq acquisition from its recently raised Gilde Equity Management Benelux fund, a €150 million fund focused on smaller mid market buyouts in Benelux.

Separately Gilde has sold its stake in CABB, a German specialty chemicals company, to Axa Private Equity, the captive arm of the French insurer. No financial detail was disclosed.

In the Uniq deal, Gilde has backed the existing management team and the business will continue under the name Hamal Signature, a well-known brand in the region.

Davy de Muyer, chief executive of the business, said independence would bring further momentum to the organisation and allow for an increased focus on the local market and consumers.  Gilde will invest in the company to develop of new products.

Meanwhile AXA Private Equity has acquired more than 70% of the shares in CABB from Gilde, with the remainder held by the company’s management.

With the support of AXA Private Equity, CABB will explore partnership opportunities with Asian producers. The company also plans to further strengthen its position in the US market.

In the coming five years the company intends to increase its revenues by approximatively 50%.

CABB, formerly part of the Hoechst group, was until June 2005 a subsidiary of Clariant, a Swiss chemicals company, until Gilde backed the buyout.