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Charterhouse nears listing for French caterer Elior

4 Feb 2014

UK private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners is one step closer to an IPO for French catering company Elior, selecting banks to run the listing, Reuters has reported.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase & Co were said to have been chosen, in a deal that could value the company at as much as €4bn

The firm currently holds a 62.4 per cent stake in Elior, paying €2.5bn in 2006. The company reported revenues of €5bn in 2013.

Last year Elior was said to be headed for public markets after private equity bids for the company did not live up to expectations, though AXA Private Equity (now Ardian) was said to still be in the race.

AltAssets reported last February that buyout groups BC Partners and CVC Capital Partners had joined forces to make a €3.5bn bid, while UK private equity firm Cinven was also said to have made an offer. In April, reports suggested that Charterhouse was seeking alternative routes to exit.

The publicity shy private equity firm has been in the news recently after former Charterhouse executive Geoff Arbuthnott told a London court that he “got mugged” by the firm. Arbuthnott, who has accused Charterhouse of malpractice at a trial over the value of his stake, said that chairman James Gordon Bonnyman tried to cut his cut his carried interest in the firm’s eighth fund in half in 2006.

Arbuthnott previously said he suspected the firm of “pervasive malpractice, primarily in the form of secret access to the senior management of acquisition targets”.

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