Equistone puts money to work with its French co-investment

Michael Bow
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EQUISTONE, the mid-market private equity outfit, yesterday announced the ninth investment from its new buyout fund, taking a stake in French food machinery company Breteche Industrie Group.

The equity and debt deal will give Equistone and its co-investor Cerea Capital a majority stake in the company, which makes equipment for the bakery and dairy industry and also has a hand in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sector, worth between €100m and €150m (£87.4m-£131m).

It bought the majority equity stake from previous majority owner Azulis Capital, as well as acquiring smaller bits of the company from Breteche’s founder Daniel Brefort and grain exporter Unigrains.

Equistone’s co-investor, Cerea Capital, a private equity division of agribusiness specialist Cerea Gestion, has also stumped up cash to buy into the company.

Breteche has a turnover of around €165m a year and employs around 800 people.

Equistone, which was spun out of Barclays bank in 2011, closed its fourth fund Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV to investors in January after raising €1.5bn.

The fourth fund was the first independent buyout fund raised since Equistone split off from Barclays. It has been investing in fund IV since November 2011

Equistone Partners managing partner Guillaume Jacqueau said: “Breteche Industrie’s impressive track record underlines that it is possible to perform even in a challenging market.”