London, 10 December 2014
Macquarie Lending, Tikehau IM (Tikehau) and funds managed and advised by Hayfin Capital Management LLP (Hayfin) (together the “Underwriters”) have fully underwritten a unitranche bond financing for the management buyout of Group Salins, one of the largest producers of sea salt worldwide.
Group Salins, which has annual revenues of €240 million, was acquired by Finachef, a family holding company owned by M. Hubert Francois, former CEO of Group Salins, and Oxylis. Chequers Capital, Abenex and Omnes Capital finalised the sale of the 150 year old company on December 2nd, 2014.
Working with M. Francois, the Underwriters agreed documentation and flexible covenants that reflect the specific challenges Group Salins face with regard to the volatility of their earnings stream. The takeover proposal was subject to regulatory conditions and as such required a commitment over an extended closing period.
M. Hubert Francois said: “It was a pleasure working with Macquarie, Tikehau and Hayfin on this transaction. They executed the financing in an expedited fashion with flexible terms that were tailored to our particular business.”
Florian Herold, Co-Head Europe of Macquarie Lending said: “Group Salins is a solid business with strong defensive characteristics. As the owner of two of the best known consumer salt brands in France the company has developed a successful annuity style income stream and has historically shown countercyclical cash flows”.
Jean-Baptiste Feat and Cécile Mayer Lévi, Co-Heads of Tikehau Private Debt, said: “We have been closely monitoring the performance of Group Salins over a long period and were highly convinced of the perfect match of a bespoke financing solution as proposed in a timely manner with the needs of the management team and the new and existing shareholders. Such a transaction emphasises the merits of financing brought by private debt providers in partnership with banks.”
This is the largest unitranche in France in 2014, the second financing over €100 million that Macquarie Lending and Tikehau have completed in 2014 and the fifth transaction they have closed since establishing their French credit programme in 2013. The most recent deal was Itas TIM Group’s acquisition of OneCast, the broadcasting subsidiary of French broadcaster TF1.
Salins Group was founded more than 150 years ago and currently has c.1,500 employees. It is one of the main producers of sea salt worldwide and one of the leaders on the European salt market (all types), with a production capacity of 4 million tons of salt per year. The Group has notably launched “La Baleine” and “Saunier de Camargue” brands. The total revenues of the Group amounted to €240m for FY2014.
Tikehau Group was founded in 2004 to invest and manage long-term capital for institutional and private investors in various asset classes (listed and private equity, credit and real estate). In 2007, Tikehau Group launched Tikehau IM, an asset manager with € 3 billion of Assets Under Management (“AUM”) with a recognized expertise in fixed income and a growing presence in equity products. Tikehau is majority held by its managers, alongside top tier institutional partners, such as Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Unicredit and Amundi. Tikehau has € 900 million in equity capitalization and principal capital together with € 4.5 billion in diversified AUM. Tikehau has offices in Paris, London and Singapore.
Hayfin is part of the Hayfin Capital Management Group, a specialist lender founded in 2009. Hayfin has extended loans totalling €6 billion to more than 200 predominantly mid-market companies across Europe. Hayfin’s European market leading expertise extends across mid-market credit, special situations, maritime finance, syndicated debt and alternative credit, complemented by its specialist transatlantic healthcare team. Hayfin is headquartered in London with offices in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid, New York and Paris.