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European Capital's Sponsor Finance Group Invests Euro 97 Million in Three Portfolio Companies
St. Peter Port, Guernsey (ots/PRNewswire) - ECAS S.a.r.l, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of European Capital Limited (LSE: ECAS) ("European Capital"), announced today investments totaling euro 97 million in three companies made in the first quarter of 2008. The investments were led by the London office of European Capital Financial Services Limited ("European Capital Services"), the sub-investment manager of European Capital.
In the first quarter of 2008, European Capital invested a total of euro 140 million in six companies, compared to euro 267 million invested in ten companies in the first quarter of 2007. European Capital raised over euro 520 million in capital in the first quarter of 2008, compared to euro 47 million raised in the first quarter of 2007 and euro 518 million in all of 2007. In addition, European Capital realized euro 115 million from investments in the first quarter of 2008, compared to euro 163 million in the first quarter of 2007 and euro 707 million in all of 2007; a portion of these funds are available for reinvestment.
"The first quarter of 2008 continued to present attractive investment opportunities for European Capital in the mezzanine market," said Nathalie Faure Beaulieu, Regional Managing Director, European Capital Services. "European Capital's growing reputation over the last few years, our international presence and ability to provide one-stop financing of mezzanine debt and equity in support of private equity buyouts gives us a competitive advantage relative to other financing sources. Our London office was able to capitalize on these opportunities and added three market leading companies to our diversified portfolio, which now totals 67 companies."
In January, European Capital invested euro 18 million in 3i's portfolio company Bestinvest, a leading independent financial advisor (IFA). European Capital's investment takes the form of senior subordinated debt, shareholder loans and common equity.
"Rising levels of personal wealth over the long term and an increased emphasis on savings are driving the need for high quality financial advisors," said Matthew Gordon Clark, European Capital Director, London Sponsor Finance Group. "As one of the few independent market players of scale that provides a fully fledged advisory service to 'mass affluent' customers, Bestinvest is a leader in this niche market. Additionally, the company's strong management team and unique offerings support its record of retaining customers."
Bestinvest was founded in 1986 and originally focused on tax benefit analysis for top rate taxpayers. During the 1990s, the range of services was expanded to cover most types of investments for UK residents, as well as financial planning. Following its November 2004 acquisition of SMA Group, a leading independent pensions and financial adviser, the range of services provided has extended to include employee benefits consultancy and general insurance broking. Bestinvest clients now have investable assets in excess of 2 billion pounds Sterling.
In February, European Capital invested euro 47.1 million in Inspicio plc, a provider of testing, inspection and certification services in the Commodities, Environmental and Food Safety markets. European Capital's investment takes the form of senior subordinated debt and supports 3i's acquisition of Inspicio.
"Inspicio's business groups occupy leading positions in high growth markets," said Jerry Tebbutt, European Capital Services Director, London Sponsor Finance Group. "One of Inspicio's greatest assets is its outstanding reputation, fostered by an experienced and dedicated management team. The management team has delivered impressive results and outperformed market forecasts and has proven to be capable of executing and integrating acquisitions and delivering significant cost savings."
Inspicio acquires and manages market leading organizations in the testing, inspection and performance conformity markets, both in the UK and internationally. Inspicio has more than 6,500 employees and operates in over 125 countries. Its operating businesses include Inspectorate, a global leader in commodity testing and inspection services; the Environmental Services Group, a leading provider of environmental testing services; and the Eclipse Scientific Group, the UK's leading food testing business.
In March, European Capital invested euro 31.6 million supporting 3i's acquisition of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) division of Alpharma Inc. (NYSE: ALO). European Capital's investment takes the form of senior subordinated debt.
"API holds leading positions in all of its product markets," said Matthew Gordon Clark. "The company operates in a niche market and we are pleased to be backing 3i and a strong management team to enhance API's current product offerings and develop new products to address further niche areas with strong and profitable growth."
API is based in Oslo, Norway and is a leading company in the fast-growing injectable generics market. Its comprehensive product portfolio includes active ingredients and finished dosage forms in a number of important antibiotic products such as Vancomycin, Bacitracin and Polymyxin. API has approximately 700 employees and has manufacturing facilities in Oslo, Copenhagen, Budapest and Taizhou, China.
European Capital has invested over euro 1.4 billion in the last twelve months. European Capital has assisted in the refinance of euro 297.3 million of senior debt for its portfolio companies in the last twelve months. For more information about European Capital's portfolio, go to www.EuropeanCapital.com/our_portfolio/portfolio.html
ABOUT EUROPEAN CAPITAL
European Capital is a publicly traded investment company for pan-European equity, mezzanine and senior debt investments with capital resources of approximately euro 2.8 billion (US$4.4 billion). It is managed by European Capital Financial Services (Guernsey) Limited ("ECFSG" or "the Investment Manager"), a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital Strategies, Ltd ("American Capital").
European Capital invests in and sponsors management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts and provides capital directly to private and public companies headquartered predominantly in Europe. European Capital generally invests between euro 5 million and euro 500 million per transaction in equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt to fund growth, acquisitions and recapitalizations.
The investment objective of European Capital is to provide investors with dividend income and the potential for share value appreciation by investing in debt and equity investments in private and public companies headquartered primarily in Europe. European Capital seeks to achieve this through pursuing the following types of investments:
European Capital One Stop Buyouts(TM)
Through our One Stop Buyouts(TM), European Capital provides equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt as the lead investor in the buyout of private and public companies.
Mezzanine Direct with Sponsors
European Capital provides one stop financing of subordinated debt and equity for buyouts sponsored by private equity firms where European Capital is either the sole or lead mezzanine debt investor.
Syndicated Mezzanine and Senior Debt
European Capital provides mezzanine financing for buyouts sponsored by private equity firms where European Capital is neither the sole nor lead mezzanine or senior debt investor.
European Capital provides subordinated debt and equity financing directly to private and public companies, which is used for growth, acquisitions or recapitalisations, and investing in structured finance vehicles.
Companies interested in learning more about European Capital's flexible financing should contact Nathalie Faure Beaulieu or Simon Henderson at +44-(0)20-7539-7000 in London, Jean Eichenlaub at +33-(0)1-40-68-06-66 in Paris, Robert von Finckenstein at +49-(0)-69-71-71-297-0 in Frankfurt, or Luis Felipe Castellanos at +(34)-91-423-27-60 in Madrid, or visit the website at http://www.EuropeanCapital.com.
ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL
American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS), with US$19 billion in capital resources under management, is an affiliate of European Capital and a member of the S&P 500. It is the largest U.S. publicly traded private equity fund and the largest publicly traded alternative asset managers. American Capital, both directly and through its global asset management business, is an investor in management and employee buyouts, private equity buyouts, and early stage and mature private and public companies. American Capital provides senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and securitizations. American Capital and its affiliates invest from US$5 million to US$800 million per company in North America and euro 5 million to euro 500 million per company in Europe.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements regarding expected results of European Capital and/or American Capital are subject to various factors and uncertainties, including the uncertainties associated with the timing of transaction closings, changes in interest rates, availability of transactions, changes in regional, national or international economic conditions, or changes in the conditions of the industries in which European Capital and/or American Capital has made investments.
Matthew Gordon Clark, Director, or Jerry Tebbutt, Director, London
Sponsor Finance Group, +44-(0)20-7539-7000, both of European Capital
Limited; or Brian Maney, Corporate Communications of American Capital
Strategies Ltd., +1-301-951-6122