The buyout was led by two company veterans: current CEO and Chairman of European Homes, Pierre Picard, together with deputy CEO Yves Cohen. The Paris-based company, which generated sales of FFr460m ($67.5m) in 1999, is one of the leading players in the highly fragmented French market.
European Homes joins NWEP’s extensive French portfolio, which included 22 major shareholdings worth FFr1 billion as at December 31, 1999.
James Murray, corporate affairs director for NWEP in London, told PrivateEquityOnline the deal was a “classic investment” for the fund, which invests in all sectors in the mid market across Europe. “European Homes has all the ingredients we look for,” he said. “It is an established company with the potential to further, that is also strong in its marketplace.”
NWEP was advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp; Pinauldt & Associes acted for the management; and BIPE carried out market due diligence. Bank finance was provided by the Bank of Scotland and Comptior des Entreprenuers – La Henin. European Homes was advised by Gide Loyrette Nouel.