OpCapita acquires Spanish frozen food retailer

The investment comes from the UK firm’s first fund, which is expected to close this year

OpCapita, a UK-based turnaround firm, has acquired Spanish frozen food retailer La Sirena Alimentacion Congelada in a deal thought to be worth around €30 million.

The firm is acquiring the business from its existing owners, a group of managers backed by a consortium of banks that acquired their stake from 3i, according to a joint statement from OpCapita and La Sirena. A market source indicated that a portion of OpCapita’s investment will go to the banks to secure a firmer financial footing for La Sirena, with the rest put into the business to be used on operations and development.

La Sirena, which operates 237 stores in Catalonia and Madrid, operates small stores in city centres and commercial districts. OpCapita operating partner Stephen Alexander will become chairman of La Sirena following the acquisition.

This is OpCapita’s second investment from its OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund, the firm’s first dedicated fund, which is expected to close by the end of the year. Previously the firm, which was founded in 2006, invested on a deal-by-deal basis. The firm has not disclosed a target for the fund, but a market source indicated that the vehicle has a two-year investment period and will be looking to make a maximum of three or four investments in total.

According to OpCapita the fund, which invests in the European retail and consumer sectors, has secured the backing of European and US institutional investors. Its first investment of €20 million was made in November 2013, when the firm acquired German discount clothing retailer NKD, which operates 1,850 stores in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy.

In 2012 the firm acquired Spain-based Game Iberica, which later merged with Game Retail in the UK to form Game Digital. The company floated on the London Stock Exchange in June 2014 at 200 pence per share.