Suala Capital, PAI Management land Mivisa

After a high profile auction, the two private equity firms have acquired Spain's leading canning group.

Suala Capital Advisers, the Spanish private equity firm, and PAI Management, the French private equity operation that has grown out of BNP Paribas, have acquired Spain's leading canning company Mivisa Envases. Suala is reported to have taken a 50 per cent stake and PAI the remainder.

The sale came after an auction managed by KPMG that attracted immense local interest and press coverage, given the size of the transaction and the personalities involved.

The purchase price has not been disclosed but is estimated to be in the region of E300m. According to a source close to the deal, the transaction, which has been signed with completion expected later in the year, included a senior and subordinated debt facilty along with a working capital provision totalling E200m. The debt facilities were provided by Barclays Capital, Credit Lyonnais and Banesto.

Suala Capital Advisers is chaired by high profile Spanish banker Ana Patricia Botin who is on the board of banking giant Santander Central Hispano. Originally set up to invest in technology companies, the company has reinvented itself as a much more broadly based investor. Its first fund closed at E100m and the firm has been busy raising a new fund that builds on this new orientation.

Given that the estimated size of equity investment in Mivisa is E100m (the same size as Suala's first fund), it was inevitable that Suala would seek a co-investor. The much larger PAI Management grew out of BNP Paribas and, although the French banking group has continued to invest in the firms' funds, the private equity company no longer relies on the BNP Paribas balance sheet. PAI invested in Mivisa through its PAI Europe III fund and is again reported to be busy raising a new fund at present.

Mivisa had revenues of E200m last financial year with net profits of E16m. Ignacio Dolz de Espejo, the former chairman of Vilesa, is to become chairman and chief executive of the company.