European private equity firm Ardian has arranged a €275m multicurrency unitranche financing facility for Bridgepoint’s acquisition of The Flexitallic Group from Eurazeo PME.
The deal represents the first investment from Ardian’s Private Debt Fund III, and reaffirms its position as the market leader for this specialist method of financing transactions.
Ardian was formerly known as AXA Private Equity, and spun out in September to establish itself as an independendent private equity firm.
Flexitallic (formerly FDS Group) makes and supplies industrial static sealing products for the the oil and gas, and power generation industries in emerging and developed markets.
Ardian has invested over €1bn in unitranche since 2011, including in Unither Pharmaceuticals, Kermel and IPH Group. By combining in a single tranche, both senior and junior debt, unitranche provides companies with a viable alternative to traditional bank financing, featuring a greater flexibility to finance their investment projects, the firm saud.
Ardian first invested in The Flexitallic Group in 2007 through its mezzanine fund. In 2011, Ardian arranged the refinancing of the company with a €110m unitranche facility, which increased to €195m to finance two build-ups in 2012 in the US and in Canada.
Olivier Berment, head of private debt and managing director at Ardian, said, “The provision of this financing has enabled The Flexitallic Group to pursue its growth strategy as it looks to expand into new international markets. The deal demonstrates our commitment as a long-term partner six years after our original investment in 2007.”
“Unitranche financing has become the preferred solution for companies looking for a flexible way to finance future investments and enhance value creation. We can expect the use of unitranche financing for acquisitions to continue to increase as credit remains tight and more companies look for alternatives to traditional bank financing.”
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