Investcorp, Barclays buy Italian vending machine maker for €800m

The private equity firms acquired Europe’s largest food and beverage vending machine maker from Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and Argan Capital using about €600m of debt arranged by eight lenders.

Barclays Private Equity and Investcorp have purchased Italian vending machine manufacturer N&W Global Vending for €800 million from Argan Capital and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.

The deal includes about €600 million of debt arranged by eight different lenders. Senior debt financing for the deal was jointly arranged by Bank of Ireland, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Calyon, ING, Intesa SanPaolo, Natixis and Société Générale. The mezzanine financing was underwritten by ICG.

James Mahoney, managing director in Investcorp’s European private equity team, said in a statement current market conditions “make the execution of transactions of this size particularly challenging”.

Investcorp and Barclays will own the company on an equal basis, and the company’s management will retain a minority position.

N&W, formed in 2000 through the merger of two European vending machine companies, is the largest manufacturer of food and beverage vending machines in Europe. The company, which has a presence in Argentina, Brazil and China, makes products in three areas – hot and cold beverages; snacks and can and bottle vending machines. N&W generated revenues of €350 million in 2007.

Investcorp, which is listed on the stock exchanges of Bahrain and London, has more than $17 billion in invested assets under management. The firm has five business lines: private equity, hedge funds, real estate, technology and Gulf growth capital.

Barclays Private Equity was established in 1979 and has invested in more than 350 businesses. The firm usually invests €750 million a year in 10 to 15 transactions.