European Capital

European Capital Invests US$25 Million in Groupe Unipex

St. Peter Port, Guernsey (ots/PRNewswire) - European Capital Limited (LSE: ECAS) ("European Capital"), announced today that its subsidiary ECAS S.a.r.l. has invested US$25 million in Groupe Unipex (formerly Atrium Innovations' active ingredients and specialty chemicals division), a global firm specializing in the manufacture and distribution of active ingredients, specialty and base chemicals for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, specialty and industrial chemical and nutrition industries. The investment was led by the Paris office of European Capital Financial Services Limited ("European Capital Financial Services") and supports AXA Private Equity's acquisition of Groupe Unipex alongside management. ECAS S.a.r.l. has arranged and underwritten the mezzanine bonds for this transaction.

"We are excited to partner again with AXA Private Equity, a leading private equity fund in Europe," said Jean Eichenlaub, Regional Managing Director Southern Europe, European Capital Financial Services. "Groupe Unipex's distribution business benefits from strong barriers to entry in diversified and growing niche end markets. The Company is led by an excellent and ambitious management team and has established longstanding relationships with top tier brands owners."

European Capital has invested over euro 1.4 billion (US$2.2 billion) in the last twelve months, euro 318 million (US$494 million) year to date and euro 149 million (US$231 million) quarter to date. European Capital has assisted in the refinance or syndication of euro 84 million (US$130 million) of senior debt for its portfolio companies in the last twelve months and euro 607 million (US$942 million) inception to date. For more information about European Capital's portfolio, go to www.EuropeanCapital.com/our_portfolio/portfolio.html.

"Groupe Unipex also owns a portfolio of proprietary products businesses, which offer attractive growth and profitability prospects," said Etienne Haubold, Director, European Capital Financial Services. "Groupe Unipex has a strong pipeline of products for the fast growing anti-aging and skin care markets."

"Groupe Unipex is clearly positioned towards value-added specialty ingredients as opposed to commodities," said Alexandre Bruyelle, Manager, European Capital Financial Services. "Since end-products have mid- to long-term lifecycles and because customers do not tend to substitute key ingredients, revenues are recurring in nature."

Groupe Unipex's sales force has longstanding relationships with leading brand owners for whom it offers a broad product offering and a wide range of R&D, technical, regulatory and after-market support services. Portfolio ingredients are either sourced with exclusive agreements from external suppliers or proprietary active ingredients that have been developed, acquired or in-licensed. Groupe Unipex works in a diversified range of growing niche markets within the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, nutrition and specialty chemicals industries.

"The management team of Groupe Unipex is very pleased to partner with AXA Private Equity and European Capital and is looking forward to expanding the business further with them," said Charles Boulanger, CEO, Groupe Unipex.

"Management plans to double the size of the Company in the next five years, mainly in Europe and in North America, through dynamic organic growth and a focused acquisition strategy," said Eric Neuplanche, Managing Director, AXA Private Equity. "We rely on European Capital's demonstrated experience to support the ambitious development plan of Groupe Unipex."

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 2.4 billion (US$3.8 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.

Direct Investments

European Capital provides subordinated debt and equity financing directly to private and public companies, which is used for growth, acquisitions or recapitalizations, and investing in structured finance vehicles.

Companies interested in learning more about European Capital's flexible financing should contact Jean Eichenlaub at +33-(0)1-40-68-06-66 in Paris, Nathalie Faure Beaulieu at +44-(0)20-7539-7000 in London, 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 www.EuropeanCapital.com.

ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL

With US$21 billion in capital resources under management(1), American Capital is the only private equity fund and the largest alternative asset management company in the S&P 500. 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.

ABOUT GROUPE UNIPEX

Groupe Unipex specializes in the development, manufacture, and distribution of active ingredients and specialty chemicals for world-class producers in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, specialty chemical, consumer and nutrition industries. Groupe Unipex is also active in the areas of cosmetovigilance and consumer testing through its cosmetics evaluation services. Its distribution and marketing network serves more than 50 countries in North America, Europe and Asia and boasts over 150 employees in five offices in North America and Europe. Additional information regarding Groupe Unipex is available at www.unipex.com.

ABOUT AXA PRIVATE EQUITY

AXA Private Equity offers investors a broad selection of high performance funds for every market segment: Buyout, Expansion Capital, Venture Capital, Co-investments, Infrastructure, Mezzanine, Primary, Early Secondary and Secondary Funds of Funds. The firm manages and/or advises on more than US$22 billion of funds on behalf of leading international investors. In 2005, European Capital has invested in mezzanine and equity alongside AXA Private Equity in the Spotless Group (Eau Ecarlate), the French market leader in laundry and home cleaning products and three add-on acquisitions.

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.

(1) Capital resources under management is an estimate of internally and externally managed assets and available capital resources as of May 31, 2008 and does not include any fair value adjustments subsequent to March 31, 2008.

    Web site: http://www.EuropeanCapital.com
           http://www.EuropeanCapital.com/our_portfolio/portfolio.html
           http://www.unipex.com 

Contact:

Jean Eichenlaub, Regional Managing Director Southern Europe, or
Etienne Haubold, Director, or Stephane Legrand, Director, or
Alexandre Bruyelle, Manager, or Marie Bal, Communications Manager,
all of European Capital Limited, +33-1-40-68-06-66

Original-Content von: European Capital, übermittelt durch news aktuell

Weitere Meldungen: European Capital

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