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Equistone acquires a majority stake in Bretèche

11 März 2013

Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces that Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV (“EPEF IV”) has acquired a majority stake in Bretèche Industrie Group (“Bretèche Industrie”, “Bretèche”, “the Group”). The deal is the second investment in France made by EPEF IV, which held a successful €1.5bn final close in January 2013, and is EPEF IV’s ninth investment since the fund started investing in November 2011. Céréa Capital has co-invested alongside Equistone and members of the management team.  

The previous owners Azulis Capital (which has held the majority of the Group’s equity since 2006), Unigrains, and the Group’s founder, Daniel Bréfort, have sold their interests in the Group.  

Founded in 1988, Bretèche Industrie is a world leading supplier of manufacturing and production equipment for the agro-food industry (bakery and dairy) and for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. The Group employs almost 800 people and operates seven production sites in France, Germany and the Czech Republic.  

Arnaud Meynial, who has led the Group since 2010, has refocused the business on its core offering through a series of acquisitions and asset disposals. In 2012, the Group generated turnover of around €165m, primarily from exports.  

With Equistone’s support, Bretèche Industrie now intends to embark on an ambitious growth strategy. The Group hopes to acquire companies which will complement its existing offering, and help it to grow its product offering and geographic footprint. In particular, Bretèche Industrie aims to consolidate its positioning in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors, and also develop its sales in emerging markets.  

Arnaud Meynial, CEO of the Bretèche Group commented: “We are grateful for the support and strategic guidance that Azulis Capital and Unigrains have offered Bretèche Industrie, and for the smooth managerial transition which they coordinated with the founder, Daniel Bréfort. We are very pleased to welcome Equistone and Céréa Capital as shareholders in Bretèche Industrie, and believe they will enable us to accelerate the international expansion of our operations, in the agro-food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors.”  

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe added: “Bretèche Industrie’s impressive track record underlines that it is possible to perform even in a challenging market. Equistone has a strong history of helping its investments expand their presence in international markets, and is delighted to be able to leverage this experience to help Bretèche achieve its growth plans. We are confident that Bretèche has the capacity to succeed in the next stage of its development.”  

The transaction was led by Guillaume Jacqueau, Grégoire Schlumberger and Arnaud Thomas for Equistone.

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