Pragma takes a bite of La Croissanterie

French mid-market firm Pragma Capital has acquired Barclays Private Equity’s 80 percent stake in La Croissanterie, France’s second-largest sandwich chain.

Barclays Private Equity, a mid market buyout firm, has sold its interest in La Crossanterie, a French sandwich chain, for an undisclosed sum to French buyout firm Pragma Capital.
It has acquired an 80 percent holding in La Croissanterie with the remainder owned by management.
Christophe Ramoisy, director general at Pragma Capital, declined to comment on the price paid for La Croissanterie. He said that the transaction was the fifth investment from its €236 million ($297 million) Pragma FCPR fund, which is already approximately 50 percent invested.
Founded in 1977, La Croissanterie is France’s second largest sandwich chain with over 150 shops. According to Barclays, the company has an expected turnover of approximately €70 million in 2006. Pragma Capital said that group turnover for the business in 2005 was €46 million.
Barclays has an appetite for the food sector. It sold Bénédicta, a manufacturer of hot and cold food sauces, to AXA Private Equity in a €60 million deal in July 2005. The same month, it divested its seven year holding in Fauchon Group, a French gourmet and speciality food retailer.
Sandwich chains have also proved popular with US private equity firms recently. In March of this year, JPMorgan Partners purchased a stake in toasted sandwich chain Quiznos, hot on the heels of Bain Capital’s, Thomas H Lee Partners’ and The Carlyle Group’s acquisition of Dunkin Donuts, the Boston-based coffee and doughnut chain that also controls the Togo’s sandwich franchise.