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Towerbrook sells off Archimica – and eyes Phase Eight

12 Jan 2011

Transatlantic buy-out house Towerbrook Capital Partners has exited its stake in pharmaceutical business Archimica, and is reportedly in talks to buy British high street clothing chain Phase Eight for £80m (€96m).

Archimica, which Towerbrook acquired in 2006, is being sold to Italy-based Euticals Group, another chemical producer, for an undisclosed sum.

The company has approximately 550 employees at six production sites in Italy, France, Germany, US and UK and saw sales of €131m in 2009, a 16 per cent increase from 2008.

Meanwhile, the British pres reports that Towerbrook is the frontrunner to pick up Phase Eight, which is currently owned by a consortium of investors led by defunct Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

Despite strong sales, the chain is looking for a capital boost as it seeks to refinance its senior debt.

Phase Eight, whose target market is women in their 30s, 40s and 50s, has 82 stores and 125 concessions in the UK, many of them inside department stores Debenhams and John Lewis.

Towerbrook, based in London and New York, has $5bn in assets under management and targets large and mid-market acquisitions. Its most high-profile portfolio company is upmarket shoemaker Jimmy Choo.

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