Bluegem is pleased to announce that it has signed the acquisition of the Béaba Group, owner of the Béaba and Red Castle brands, from Bridgepoint, Indigo and Société Cantilienne de Participations.

Since 1989, the French brand Béaba has accompanied parents at all moments of their baby’s life with high-quality, innovative and simple to use products, such as the brand’s hero product, the Babycook.

After conducting a capital and financial restructuring of the Béaba Group in 2017, Bridgepoint entrusted the Group’s chairmanship to Julien Laporte to accelerate Béaba’s transformation. Since then, the former member of Danone and L’Oréal has worked hand in hand with Bridgepoint to roll out a new strategic plan based on three main strategic axes:

• Innovation, with the release in early 2019 of a new “Made in France” version of its iconic product, the Babycook (the “Neo”), in parallel with the launch of 30 other new products.

• Béaba’s positioning as a multichannel player: the Group has readjusted and optimised its digital identity, and has strongly increased its direct sales via its BtoC website (Béaba sales tripled in one year).

• Acceleration of the Group’s international development to leverage on fast growing markets, particularly in Asia and the United States (leading to a sales growth of more than 20% per year in North America), after reorganising and resuming direct distribution in Germany (doubling of sales) and in Benelux. In early 2020, the Group took over direct control of its Chinese operations through a joint venture agreement with its local distributor.

Bolstered by the Group’s very strong sales in spite of Covid-19 turbulence, Bridgepoint gave Clearwater International a divestiture mandate in early summer 2020. In a context that witnessed strong interest from both strategic and financial investors, Bluegem pre-empted the sales process by submitting a firm offer in early September 2020.

Bluegem and the management team intend to pursue the Group’s current growth strategy and plan to make Béaba a European leader in the childcare sector.

With its strong track record in European consumer brands, Bluegem will support the management team on several strategic projects, including:

• The internationalisation of the Béaba brand, particularly in the United States, Asia-Pacific, Germany and the United Kingdom (where Bluegem holds another major player in the childcare sector: Mamas & Papas).

• Continued efforts to digitise the Group.

• Launch of new flagship products for the Group.

• Ramping up critical mass race through bolt-on acquisitions, particularly abroad.

Julien Laporte, CEO of the Béaba Group, explains: “We are grateful for Bridgepoint’s strong support in recent years. We are very pleased to start this new phase of development with Bluegem, which will allow us to accelerate our international growth and product innovations.”

Mathieu Develay, Head of Operations in France for Bluegem, continues: “We are delighted to be able to partner with Julien Laporte and his team in this new growth phase for Béaba. This investment fits perfectly with Bluegem III’s strategy, namely, to support strong and innovative brands in consumer goods, which have a growing international presence and a significant share of their sales online.”

Olivier Nemsguern, Managing Partner of BDC in France, declares: “This exit is a great success and is the recognition of BDC’s efforts and support for this unique brand. We are delighted with this passing of the torch, which demonstrates the relevance of the Group’s strategy, which we have supported alongside Management for several years.”

Stakeholders and advisors

Bridgepoint (Olivier Nemsguern, Louis Paul-Dauphin) was advised by Clearwater International (Philippe Guézenec, Matthias Krimmel, Alexis Vernay), PwC (Stéphane Salustro, Maxence Pleynet) and Racine Avocats (Mélanie Coiraton, Elena Pintea-Pouchkine).

BlueGem (Marco Capello, Mathieu Develay) was advised by Oaklins France (Thibaut de Monclin, Hadrien Mollard), Alvarez & Marsal (Jonathan Gibbons), Baker & McKenzie (David Allen, Antoine Caillard), Arsene Taxand (Alexandre Rocchi), Marlborough Partners (Romain Cattet) and Willkie Farr (Paul Lombard).

Bank financing will be provided by Oldenburgische Landesbank Aktiengesellschaft (“OLB”).

About Béaba Group

Béaba Group, created in 1989 with the invention of the Babycook, is one of the leaders in small childcare items and generates a turnover of nearly €50 million, half of which is international.

With more than a hundred employees, mostly based in France at Béaba’s historic site inOyonnax (Ain), the Group designs, develops and markets innovative and easy-to-use products to aid parents. With offices in several European countries as well as in Hong Kong, the United States and China, Béaba Group is particularly focused on international development.

Thanks to its flagship products, Béaba is a reference brand in the childcare sector.

About Bluegem Capital Partners

Bluegem Capital Partners is a London-based pan-European, mid-market private equity manager, established in 2007. It focuses on consumer businesses across all verticals

Bluegem specialises in supporting leading European brands in the consumer goods sector. Its second fund holds investments in Mamas & Papas (childcare), Iconic London (makeup), QMS (cosmetics), Dr. Vranjes (indoor perfumery)and others.

Béaba is Bluegem’s third investment in France after DMC in 2016 (world leader in embroidery thread, stake sold to Lion Capital in 2019) and Big Fernand in 2017 (gourmet burgers).

Bluegem is currently investing its third fund.

About Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC)

In France, the smid-cap activity of the international private equity group Bridgepoint includes:

– Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC) whose portfolio consists of 5 companies: Anaveo (acquired in December 2015), CIR (acquired in October 2017), PrivateSportShop (acquired in July 2018), Bee2Link (acquired in February 2019) and Cyrus (acquired in 2020).

– Bridgepoint Portfolio Services (BPS), which took over 13 holding companies from EdRCP in summer 2014 and now includes Sotralu.

Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC), with a team of 28 professionals in Europe (including 9 in Paris), is now one of the few investors in smid-cap able to support midcaps in their international development thanks to the support of Bridgepoint’s nine investment offices and its operational teams based in New York, San Francisco and Shanghai.

Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC) specializes in smid-cap transactions, investing equity tickets between €30 and €130 million.

Its fourth fund, BDC IV, worth €1.7 billion was raised in 2020. Its previous fund, BDC III, with €670 million raised in 2016, is approaching the end of its investment period, with 80% of the fund already invested in 12 assets.

Press contacts:

For Beaba Group:

Anita Jean / / +33 (0)4 74 12 03 51

For Bluegem Capital Partners:

Mathieu Develay / / +44 (0)784 134 0204

For Bridgepoint Development Capital:

CTCom : Sibylle Descamps / / +33 (0)6 82 09 70 07

Image 7 : Charlotte Mouraret / / +33 (0)6 89 87 62 17

Categories: News


About the Author