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LBO France secures €230m refinancing

The firm will recoup 60% of its original investment in Materne-Mont Blanc through the tranche B senior financing

Paris-based buyout firm LBO France has completed a seven year €230 million refinancing for portfolio company Materne-Mont Blanc, according to a statement from the firm.

The €230 million tranche B senior financing includes an additional €10 million revolving credit facility and a €40 million capex line, LBO France said. The financing, for which BNP Paribas acted as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, was priced at 4.25 percent over Euribor, and is understood to have been 2 times oversubscribed.

The refinancing, which closed on 21st April, returned around 60 percent of the original invested capital to LBO France, according to a source familiar with the matter.

LBO completed the refinancing to simplify the structure of the debt originally put in place on acquisition, the source said.

LBO France acquired Materne-Mont Blanc from fellow French private equity firm Activa Capital in 2010 for around €180 million using capital from its mid-cap White Knight VIII fund, a 2008-vintage which closed on €851 million, according to Private Equity International’s Research & Analytics Division. At the time of acquisition the company, which produces fruit purees and dessert creams which can be kept at room temperature, had EBITDA of €20 million.

It is understood that today EBITDA stands at €50 million, with the company seeing sales of around €350 million in 2014.

This is the most recent of a series of refinancings LBO France has undertaken recently. In March 2014 the firm secured a €275 million high yield bond issuance for French fine food business Labeyrie, returning €60 million to LPs. The firm later sold Labeyrie to PAI Partners in June 2014 in a deal valuing the company at around €590 million, booking a 1.7x return and an internal rate of return of close to 25 percent, PEI reported at the time.

LBO France also completed at €175 million debt refinancing last March at Exxelia Group, a manufacturer of components used in the medical, railway, defence and oil sectors, before selling the business to IK Investment Partners later in the year.

It has been a busy week for the French firm. On Monday it agreed to sell another White Knight VIII portfolio company, Alvest, to French private equity firm Sagard. The deal is understood to value Alvest, a producer and distributor of airport ground support equipments, at between €250 million and €300 million.