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Duke Street exits Lil-Lets in secondaries deal

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Duke Street Capital has sold the Lil-lets feminine hygiene division of Accantia, the health and beauty manufacturer, to Electra Partners and management for a total consideration of £80m. Duke Street originally backed a £225m MBO at Accantia in November 2003.

The firm said that the sale of Lil-lets will allow management to focus on the Simple range of beauty products and services. Simple is the UK’s leading range of skincare, toiletries and soap products for the care of sensitive skin, with four million users in the UK. The brand has doubled in size since the formation of Accantia in 2000, commanding, they say, the number four position in the facial skin care market and the number three position in the soap market.

Electra Partners is backing an MBO team led by Duccio Baldi, previously commercial director of Accantia, who will become chief executive. Simon Pinks, previously group financial controller of Accantia will become the finance director.

John Harper, a partner at Duke Street, commented, ‘The sale of Lil-lets is a significant step in the development of Accantia, as it will allow the management team to focus on aggressively growing the Simple brand. Since Duke Street backed the management in 2003, Simple has gone from strength to strength, with entirely new ranges, an increased product offer and now the first Simple-branded day spa. We are looking forward to implementing a major expansion programme for Simple, including the roll-out of the branded beauty day spas.’

Duke Street Capital is a private equity firm with offices in London and Paris. It was founded in 1988 and focuses on mid-market leveraged buy-outs, investing in established UK and French businesses.

The firm has raised five private equity funds to date totalling in excess of €2bn. Almeida Capital, parent company of AltAssets, is acting as placement agent on Duke Street’ latest fundraising.

Recent transactions include the sale of Equity Insurance, a player in the UK personal lines insurance market, the exit from Esporta, the health & racquet clubs operator, the acquisition of the IT services business 2e2, the exit from Marie Brizard, a French drinks company; the acquisitions of Buckingham Foods, Thomas Food Group and Food Partners; the acquisition of Deloro Stellite; the sales of Sporting Index and of Financière Galaxie, the owner of B&B hotels and the acquisition of Proclif, the Paris-based hospital operator.

Copyright © 2006 AltAssets

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