Crédit Agricole Private Equity and NiXEN Partners

Crédit Agricole Private Equity and NiXEN Partners (majority shareholder) announce agreement to sell Saverglass to Astorg Partners
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Founded in 1897, Saverglass designs, manufactures and decorates glass bottles and decanters for manufacturers of premium spirits (vodka, cognac, whiskey, etc.) and fine wines. With 2010 turnover of €280 million, the group is the world leader in the high-end premium segment with an international customer-base. It produces more than 300,000 tons of glass on a yearly basis and has five furnaces at three production facilities in France (Feuquières, the group's headquarters, Le Havre and Arques), as well as two decoration plants.

Saverglass was acquired from the Desjonquères family in November 2006 by a consortium of financial investors led by NiXEN, which owns more than 60% of the capital, supported by Crédit Agricole Private Equity with 20%. Euromezzanine and the Desjonquères family also took part in the LBO alongside the group's management.

Since 2006, Saverglass has expanded rapidly through a sustained investment policy and an ambitious commercial strategy, driven by the management team headed by Loïc Quentin de Gromard, Chairman since 1985. Saverglass opened a fifth furnace in June 2008 at the Arques facility, representing an investment of roughly €80 million and increasing the group's production capacity by almost 40%. Saverglass now has about 2,200 employees compared with 1,600 in 2006.

Jean-Paul Bernardini, Chairman of NiXEN Partners, commented: "Under Loïc Quentin de Gromard's management, Saverglass has had an excellent track record over the past five years. We have worked closely with the management team to support the Group's expansion. During that time, it has invested heavily in increasing its production capacity, demonstrated its resilience during the crisis, and prepared for its next phase of growth through a forward-looking commercial policy and a strong focus on innovation."

Eric Pencréac’h, Head of LBO & Expansion at Crédit Agricole Private Equity, added: "Saverglass's performance since 2006 illustrates the quality of its management team and bears witness to its robust strategy implemented with our support, which has enabled the group to become the unrivalled leader in its sector."

Loïc Quentin de Gromard, Chairman of Saverglass, concluded: "I am delighted with our five years of partnership with NiXEN and Crédit Agricole Private Equity and their support during this key stage of Saverglass's development. They have notably provided us with the means to pursue our voluntarist investment policy to prepare for the future and meet the needs of our customers."

The sale is subject to authorisation from the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be finalised by end of June.

The vendors are delighted with Saverglass's excellent track record since 2006. To mark their satisfaction with the performance achieved by the group's employees over the past 5 years, the former and new shareholders have agreed to finance an additional bonus for all the Saverglass’ employees.

Participants:

NiXEN Partners: Jean-Paul Bernardini, Vincent Houlot, Anne-Laure Mougenot
Crédit Agricole Private Equity: Eric Pencréac’h, Fabrice Voituron

Vendors' advisers:

M&A: Rothschild (Laurent Baril, Vincent Berry)
Legal: SJ Berwin (Jérôme Jouhanneaud, Isabelle Meyrier)
Financial VDD: 8 Advisory (Stéphane Vanbergue, Thomas Claverie)
Commercial VDD: Roland Berger (Olivier de Panafieu, François Teffene)

About Saverglass: www.saverglass.com

Saverglass is the world leader in the design, manufacturing and decoration of glass bottles and decanters for the premium spirits and fine wines markets. The group produces more than 300,000 tons of glass on a yearly and generated €280 million of turnover in 2010. It has 2,200 employees and four production facilities in France at Feuquières, Le Havre, Arques and Coulommiers.

About NiXEN Partners: www.nixen.com

NiXEN is an independent private equity firm specialising in flexible equity. It provides highly flexible and personalised solution addressing all types of capitalistic and strategic development issues for French companies with turnover between €50 million and €500 million. It considers investments in all sectors, with tickets ranging between €10 million and €50 million per deal, in companies with a highly committed management team and an ambitious development plan. NiXEN is involved in various segments of the private equity market, including:

  • Expansion capital: growth capital financing and secondary equity offerings;
  • Buy-outs: OBO, LBO, MBI;
  • Spin-offs and carve-outs from industrial or services corporates.

NiXEN's main investments are AsteelFlash (electronics sub-contracting), Buffalo Grill (steakhouse restaurant chain), Ceva (animal health laboratory), Coventya (speciality chemicals for electroplating), Labco (pan-European network of clinical laboratories), La Grande Récré (games and toys specialist retailer), Maisons du Monde (decoration and furniture retailer), Malherbe (goods transportation and freight) and Vedici (private clinic group).

About Crédit Agricole Private Equity: omnescapital.com

Crédit Agricole Private Equity, Crédit Agricole Private Equity is an AMF-accredited asset-management subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, specialising in direct private-equity investment in non-listed companies. A multi-specialist player, Crédit Agricole Private Equity’s team of 100 professionals manages €3.3 billion with specific expertise in LBO & Expansion, Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Co-Investment, Renewable Energy and PPP Infrastructure. Crédit Agricole Private Equity has signed up to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).