Sponsor Montagu sells hair styling group ghd to rival Lion Capital in £300m deal

UK-based Montagu Private Equity LLP has agreed to dispose of its hair styling products firm Jemella Group Ltd (dba ghd) to rival private equity firm Lion Capital LLP.

The private equity groups did not disclose the amount they had agreed on. However, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the professional hair styling products supplier would change hands for almost £300m ($474m/€355m).

Montagu became the owner of ghd in 2007, when it bought the business for £160m. With the support of its private equity partner, ghd expanded its operations through entry into new markets and invested substantial amounts into new product development.

The company also diversified its sales channels, stepped up international marketing efforts and launched brand development campaigns. As a result, ghd has increased its profits more than twofold to £32m, generating revenues in excess of £150m, according to the statement.

Ernst & Young LLP served as adviser to Montagu and ghd, while Rothschild provided counsel to Lion Capital. Financing for the acquisition comes from Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LON:LLOY).

UK’s Dairy Crest to sell French unit to in a move to cut debt

British dairy foods company Dairy Crest Group Plc (LON:DCG) said today that after receiving certain permissions it had sealed a binding deal for the sale of its French branded spreads unit St Hubert SAS to an entity owned by private equity firm Montagu Private Equity SAS.

On 29 June, Dairy Crest announced that the buyout firm had offered to acquire the particular business for EUR430m (USD523.2m) in cash through its newly-established company Brassica Acquisition SAS. At that time, the vendor noted that a conditional agreement on the matter was expected to be signed once a consultation with the French Works Council is completed.

Today, Dairy Crest said that this process had been concluded and that it had also received lender consent, which was another condition to finalising the transaction. The divestment, however, is still subject to stockholder and regulatory clearance.

Previously, the British company indicated it would use the sale proceeds to cut net debt and continue growing its domestic branded foods activities as well as to restore profitability at its dairies business in the medium term.

St Hubert ranks second in the French spreads market with a 39% share by value as at March 2012. It generated EBITDA of EUR48.1m and EBIT of EUR46.1m in the year to 31 March 2012, with gross assets of EUR169m at that date. Dairy Crest bought the business in January 2007 for EUR370m.

Sponsor Montagu sells Germany’s BSN to rival EQT for €1.8bn — report

Swedish private equity investor EQT Partners AB has emerged victorious in the competition for German woundcare products specialist BSN Medical GmbH, the Financial Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

EQT has trumped rival bids from French investment company Wendel SA (EPA:MF) and the CVC Capital Partners Ltd-BC Partners Ltd tandem with an offer of EUR1.82bn (USD2.28bn).

BSN has been the property of Montagu Private Equity LLP since 2005, when the UK buyout firm took over the Hamburg-based business through an investment of EUR1bn, the FT said.

The newspaper went on to add that the deal offered fresh proof of private equity interest in healthcare companies, whose area of operation makes them relatively immune to recessions.

BSN was established in 2001 as a joint venture between German personal care products manufacturer Beiersdorf AG (ETR:BEI) and UK medical devices maker Smith & Nephew Plc (LON:SN). The company produces bandages, casts, splints, adhesive tapes and woundcare compresses.

It has a workforce of over 4,000 and its 2011 revenues amounted to EUR665m. According to the FT article, investors have recently become increasingly interested in the woundcare segment because of improving technology and rising demand for wound treatment due to the growing number of diabetes patients.

Before putting BSN on the block, Montagu had been considering an initial public offering for the business in 2010. However, the market turmoil interfered with those plans. Two years earlier, Montagu had given thought to an outright sale, the FT said.