Equistone takes a bite out of Charles & Alice

Michael Bow
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EQUISTONE Partners, the private equity firm carved out of Barclays two years ago, yesterday backed a buyout of upmarket French dessert maker Charles & Alice Group.

The deal, Equistone’s third French acquisition this year, will see the firm finance a secondary management buyout (MBO) led by Charles & Alice’s president Thierry Goubault. Terms were not disclosed

The French group, which makes chilled fruity desserts from its orchards in the Provence region, employs about 350 people.

It said it plans to grow its business overseas with the extra cash.

Original shareholder CM-CIC Capital Finance will maintain a stake in the company. It backed the original buyout in 2007 with a €12.8m (£11.1m) investment.

The MBO is Equistone’s twelfth investment from its €1.5bn fund IV.