Sustainable soap brand Seepje receives capital injection from ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund and Fair Capital Impact Fund

Abn Amro Ventures

Seepje Handzeep met navulling 840x472

Sustainable detergent and soap brand Seepje from the Netherlands has raised 4.2 million euros from the ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund (ABN AMRO SIF) and Fair Capital Impact Fund. The rapidly growing company, based in The Hague, will use this capital to strengthen its position in the Netherlands and Belgium by expanding its range of sustainable soap products. Seepje also has plans to continue its international expansion and increase its social impact by marketing more innovative and truly sustainable products.

Over the past five years, Seepje has grown by a staggering factor of ten. This latest investment is aimed at recording a sustained annual growth of fifty percent or better. The company hopes that its mission of sustainability will be the deciding factor. “A clean future: that’s what we want, but it will be impossible unless we all work together now to become more sustainable. We want to get rid of pollution from housekeeping and personal care products, which are crammed full of unnecessary fossil ingredients. This capital injection will help us to become the world’s most impactful soap brand,” explains Seepje co-founder Jasper Gabriëlse. “Besides money, our investors will also provide input to make our supply chain more transparent, by increasing the professionalism of our impact measurements and reports, which will help us to make an even greater impact. We want to have a positive impact on everyone involved, for example by paying fair prices at the start of the supply chain. We’re challenging other operators to follow our example.”

Sustainable investments

Seepje’s track record shows how capable the company is of attracting leading impact investors, such as social investment company DOEN Participaties (founded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery) and Muiden-based Fair Capital Impact Fund. The ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund is the latest to follow, at the same time as a new investment by Fair Capital Impact Fund. “For almost a decade now, Seepje’s founders, with their detergents and cleaning products, have been making a positive difference in the struggle to stop the planet’s natural resources from being exhausted,” comments Michelle de Rijk on behalf of Fair Capital Impact Fund. “We’re proud to help further boost the organisation and make a vital contribution to the company’s mission.”

Investment Director Erick Buckens of ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund adds, “Seepje is a real gamechanger, capable of substantially influencing the sustainability transition in the housekeeping and personal care market. The radical shift towards adopting natural ingredients and fair pay in the supply chain not only benefits the planet, it also fills the surging demand from increasing numbers of conscious and sustainability-minded buyers. This slots in perfectly with ABN AMRO SIF’s vision, which is to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and inclusive society. Our goal is to achieve both sustainable impact and financial returns.”

Consolidation and growth

Already Social Enterprise of the Year in the Netherlands, Seepje will now use this capital injection from leading impact investors to expand its position in its existing markets in the Netherlands and Belgium, and to further explore new markets. Following the company’s successful launch in Switzerland, for example, Gabriëlse foresees rapid growth there. “Our impactful innovations, such as the recent introduction of hand soap refills, will help reduce carbon emissions along the entire supply chain, for example, as well as reducing the volume of plastic waste. Coupled with the fact that 99.8% of the ingredients that we use are organic, this makes us the most sustainable product in the market. We’re going to make sure that even more people start moving towards a clean future with Seepje, in the Netherlands and beyond!”

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Carlyle Acquires a Majority Stake to Help Accelerate Business Growth in VLCC, India’s Leading Homegrown Skincare and Beauty Platform

Carlyle

Deal marks a strategic partnership with VLCC’s founders who will continue to hold a significant stake in the company

Mumbai, India, January 10, 2023 – Global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) today announced a strategic partnership with VLCC (the “Company”), through the acquisition of a majority stake in the Company. Equity for the transaction will come from funds managed and advised by entities affiliated with Carlyle Asia Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1989 by Vandana and Mukesh Luthra, VLCC is a homegrown pioneer in India’s skincare, beauty and wellness market, with an integrated offering of branded skincare products and high-end specialized beauty and wellness services. VLCC has established itself as a well-known brand in India over the last three decades by scaling its range of branded skincare and beauty products across physical retail and digital channels, and expanding its network of clinics in tier-one and tier-two Indian cities. The Company is currently a market leader in India for facial kits and has an extensive product portfolio across skincare and sun care products.

VLCC also provides aesthetic dermal treatments and weight management services across a network of 210 retail clinics in 118 cities and 11 countries in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In addition, it operates 100 skill development institutes in India, making it one of the largest providers of vocational training in the beauty and wellness sector in the country.

The investment underscores Carlyle’s overall conviction in India’s long-term economic and domestic consumption growth, which the team believes is characterized by product premiumization and a shift in preference amongst the rising middle-class towards established brands.

Amit Jain, Managing Director and Co-Head, Carlyle India Advisors, said: “We are excited to invest in and support the growth of VLCC, a homegrown and trusted Indian brand with high brand salience. We plan to help VLCC accelerate growth through investments in brand building; product expansion; scaling its pan-India digital and e-commerce distribution channels; and expanding its local footprint of retail clinics. We look forward to working with VLCC’s founders as we seek to strengthen the management team and draw on Carlyle’s deep global consumer experience and network of senior advisors.”

Vandana Luthra, Founder of VLCC, said: “We believe VLCC is well-positioned to capture a larger share of the fast-growing skincare, beauty and wellness market in the countries we operate in. We are delighted to have found in Carlyle a partner who shares our vision and plans for taking VLCC to its next level of growth. Carlyle’s extensive global consumer sector experience, business partnership mindset, local market knowledge and high-caliber team make them the right partner to take the business to the next level. With the Carlyle partnership, we have every confidence in VLCC’s prospects in capturing the market opportunities ahead of us and look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission of transforming lives by making skincare, beauty and wellness accessible to our customers.”

Mukesh Luthra, Chairman of VLCC, said: “In our view, the investment by one of the world’s largest global investment firms – that has built a stellar reputation for creating long-term value for companies, shareholders, people and communities – is a reaffirmation of the strength of the VLCC brand that we have nurtured, built and grown over the last three decades.”

VLCC will be appointing Gurveen Singh and J. Suresh as Independent Directors to the Board. Ms. Singh retired as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Reckitt Benckiser and brings with her over 40 years of experience in talent development and HR solutions. Mr. Suresh, who recently retired as the Managing Director and CEO of Arvind Fashions Limited and had started his career with Hindustan Unilever, brings to the team over four decades of experience in the consumer and retail sector. Carlyle believes their combined experience and sector expertise helps strengthen the Board and will help provide strategic guidance for VLCC’s next phase of anticipated growth.

Carlyle’s global private equity funds have well-established experience investing in the consumer and retail sectors, as well as consumer-oriented businesses, including investments in Varmora, Grand Foods China (McDonald’s China franchisee), Golden Goose, A Twosome Place, TOKIWA Corporation, SBI Card, and Delhivery, among others. Globally, Carlyle has invested approximately US$25 billion of equity in over 135 deals in the consumer, media and retail sector, as of September 30, 2022.

Carlyle has invested more than US$5.5 billion of equity in over 40 transactions in India as of September 30, 2022.

KPMG India acted as the exclusive transaction advisor to VLCC and the founders.

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About Carlyle

Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit, and Global Investment Solutions. With $369 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2022, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs over 2,100 people in 29 offices across five continents. Further information is available at www.carlyle.com. Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.

About VLCC 

Founded by Mrs. Vandana Luthra and Mr. Mukesh Luthra as a beauty and weight management services center in 1989, the VLCC group was incorporated in 1996 and is among the first multi-outlet corporate operations in the Skincare, Beauty & Wellness Industry in India. Since inception, the VLCC Group’s mission has been to transform lives by making Skincare, Beauty and Wellness accessible to women and men. In over 30 years of operation, the VLCC brand has become synonymous with Skincare and Beauty in Indian households. Today, VLCC believes it enjoys a high level of consumer trust and is widely recognized for its comprehensive portfolio of services and products. The VLCC Group’s operations currently span 310 locations in 139 cities and 11 countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Kenya, with a staff strength of over 3,000 skilled professionals, including medical doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists, cosmetologists, fitness experts and wellness counsellors.

Media Contacts:

Carlyle
Lonna Leong
Tel: +852 9023 1157
E-mail: lonna.leong@carlyle.com

Adfactors PR
Manibalan Manoharan
Tel: +91 9833949919
E-mail: manibalan.manoharan@adfactorspr.com

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Partners Group to increase its stake in leading independent Swiss watchmaker Breitling

  • Partners Group Co-Founder Alfred Gantner will become Chairman of Breitling’s board
  • Breitling will remain under the leadership of CEO Georges Kern and his existing management team
  • Both Partners Group and CVC will continue to drive value creation at the Company

Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, has agreed on behalf of its clients to increase its equity stake in leading Swiss watchmaker Breitling (or “the Company”) in a transaction that will make it the Company’s largest shareholder. CVC, Breitling’s current majority shareholder, together with its management team and other co-investors, will remain invested alongside Partners Group. Accordingly, Partners Group, CVC and the management team will continue to control Breitling following completion of this investment round.

Founded in 1884, Breitling is a leading Swiss watchmaker, with a unique heritage in the industry as the inventor of the modern wrist chronograph and distinctive positioning as a casual, inclusive, and sustainable luxury brand. Breitling’s product offering is centered around its three core themes: air, land, and sea. Its collections offer a distinctive modern-retro design style, which appeals to an increasingly broad consumer base globally. Since 2017, Breitling has emerged as a leading omni-channel luxury watch brand offering an unparalleled customer experience across both physical and digital channels.

The Company is poised for future growth supported by its differentiated brand positioning, wide product offering, and robust supply chain. Partners Group and CVC will continue working together with Breitling’s management team, under the leadership of CEO Georges Kern, to grow the business. Key value creation initiatives will include further pursuing an omni-channel strategy; continuing its geographic expansion; and launching new products harnessing the value of Breitling’s extensive back catalogue.

Following the transaction, Alfred Gantner, Co-Founder and Executive Member of the Board of Directors, Partners Group, will become Chairman of the Breitling board. He says: “After a fundamental transformation in the past five years, Breitling is building on its outstanding achievements and is now in a position to scale the business and become one of the world leaders in the watch industry. We are delighted to increase our stake in the Company. Breitling has a strong foundation for continued growth, with significant future value creation potential. In line with our entrepreneurial governance approach, we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the management team and CVC.”

Georges Kern, Chief Executive Officer, Breitling, comments: “I am very happy that Breitling remains privately owned and independent. Breitling is well-positioned and has a proven strategy in place to capitalize on continued tailwinds in the luxury watch industry. We have a unique brand proposition with a long history in Swiss watch making, which is appealing to today’s modern luxury consumer. We are a preferred partner to retailers worldwide and are looking for continuity and stability in these established partnerships. Looking ahead, we are building our presence in key growth markets, and broadening Breitling’s collection to appeal to a diverse customer base. The support that Partners Group and CVC offers will continue to be extremely valuable as we continue on this journey.”

Daniel Pindur, Managing Partner at CVC and current Chairman of Breitling’s board, says: “We are proud of the fantastic development Breitling has made since we invested in 2017. Working closely with Georges and his team we have been able to transform the business into one of the world’s most dynamic and progressive luxury watch brands. We are convinced there is still plenty more to come, and we are delighted to continue driving the future growth of this iconic business alongside Partners Group.”

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Jollein and Mentha to work together to accelerate international growth

Mentha

Mentha is entering into a partnership with Jollein to enable further international growth. With the help of Mentha, the Dutch specialist in baby and toddler articles is entering a new growth phase in which Jollein envisions to strengthen its market share in existing regions and expand into other countries.

For 50 years, Jollein has been a specialist in ‘baby soft goods’ such as sleeping bags, footmuffs, blankets and cloths. The company, which, in addition to textiles, also offers wooden toys and tableware for toddlers up to approximately 6 years of age, is the market leader in the Netherlands and is now active in 41 countries. Jollein is known by almost all young mothers for its high quality range at affordable prices.

Over the past three years, Jollein has undergone strong professionalization and international growth, driven by the entrepreneurship of owners Wim and Marrit Smits, with support from, among others, Erwin Hammer as a board member.

“Although building a company is a continuous process, almost all facets of our company have improved – from systems to photography and from sales team to thematic work. At a certain point, the realization comes that you need new insights and people to grow further, so we started looking for a suitable partner for Jollein. We are convinced that Mentha, with its knowledge and expertise of the market and experience with internationally growing companies, is the right party to ensure further expansion for Jollein in the coming years”, says Marrit Smits.

Barend Rutten, partner at Mentha adds: “Jollein has developed into a powerful brand in an attractive market with numerous growth opportunities. We look forward to entering the next growth phase together with Erwin and the rest of the management team, supporting them with our knowledge and network within the sector.” With the acquisition of Jollein, Mentha is strengthening its position in the market for baby products, following its investment in Petite Amélie earlier this year.

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Gauge Capital Announces Strategic Investment in Exact Customer

Southlake, TX – Gauge Capital (“Gauge”) announced that it has partnered with the founders and management team of Exact Customer (www.exactcustomer.com) (“Exact Customer” or the “Company”). Exact Customer is a software-enabled, digital performance marketing agency, focused on providing high-value purchase sales leads of high intent consumers to the home services market. Today, the Company services the window, bath, and solar markets. Exact Customer utilizes first and third-party data to aggregate and assess leads from multiple channels, including email, pay-per-click, and publishers.

“We look forward to partnering with Gauge for the next chapter of the Company’s growth,” said Steve Jacoby, Exact Customer’s Co-Founder. “We’re proud of Exact Customer’s success thus far, and with additional resources to invest in sales and marketing, strategic M&A, and vertical expansion, we will continue to deliver an excellent experience for our current and future customers.”

Eric Bloomfield, Exact Customer’s Co-Founder added, “Our customers rely on us to scale alongside their business and support their core operations without incident. Our focus has always been on delivering a best-in-class experience and listening to what our customers want.”

Tom McKelvey, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Gauge Capital, said, “We have been impressed with what Steve, Eric, and the Exact Customer team have built. Exact Customer’s reputation for excellence precedes itself and we look forward to achieving our shared vision for growth.”

As part of the investment, Tom McKelvey, Tristan Loiselle, and Sam Yang from Gauge Capital and Billy Sewell, Gauge Operating Partner, have joined the Company’s Board of Directors. FocalPoint, a division of B. Riley Securities, Inc., served as financial advisor and Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell served as legal counsel to Exact Customer. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to Gauge Capital.

About Gauge Capital (www.gaugecapital.com)
Gauge Capital is a middle-market private equity firm based in Southlake, Texas. Gauge invests in five key sectors: healthcare, technology, business services, government & industrial services, and food & consumer. The firm manages more than $2.0 billion in capital and in 2020, 2021 and 2022, Inc. Magazine named Gauge one of the top private equity firms for founders. In 2021 and 2022, Gauge was also named to the Top 50 PE Firms in the Middle Market by Grady Campbell. In 2022, Gauge ranked in the top 5 out of 517 private equity firms in the HEC Paris – DowJones Small-Cap Buyout Performance Ranking. For more information, please contact Andrew Peix, Managing Director of Business Development at apeix@gaugecapital.com.

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BGF completes successful exit of Furniture Village

BGF

BGF has successfully exited its investment in Furniture Village, the leading national furniture retailer, following a share buyback by the business.

Furniture Village is an award-winning family business that has been selling quality sofas, dining furniture and beds across the UK for over 30 years.

BGF has invested £12 million in the business across two successive funding rounds, the first in 2014, followed by a second in 2015.

Over the eight-year investment partnership, Furniture Village has used the growth capital to increase its store footprint from 40 to 55, and also to bolster its logistics, IT and digital infrastructure. The exit has yielded strong returns on BGF’s original investment and follows a period of consistent, profitable growth for Furniture Village.

The move allows father-and-son duo Peter and Charlie Harrison to continue to build on the success of the business, with the aim of further strengthening its market position. Outside a substantial holding by the company’s employee benefit trust, the Harrison family is now the sole shareholder of the business.

Peter Harrison, Chief Executive, Furniture Village commented: “It has always been a lifelong ambition that the business would be wholly owned by the family. We have now realised that dream thanks to our fantastic people and our principle partners who have all contributed to our journey – my original business partner David Imrie, Peter Grant of Cadogan Estates, Jane Vinson at BGF and Jim Hodkinson our longstanding Chairman.

“Charlie and I have a very strong vision for where we would like to take the business next. It is based on a highly collaborative and loyal relationship with our people, excellence in customer service and always being able to offer the highest quality product at good value prices to our customers nationwide.”

Jane Vinson, Head of Portfolio, South at BGF said: BGF has backed Furniture Village since 2014, providing £12 million of growth capital across two successive funding rounds. Over the last eight years we have supported the business with its acquisitive growth strategy providing the financial and strategic support needed to roll-out new sites, invest in new technologies and scale its ecommerce platform.

“During BGF’s investment hold period, the company has experienced significant growth and this deal marks an exciting next step for the company. This deal demonstrates BGF’s flexibility on exit routes, and we wish Peter and Charlie Harrison and the entire team all the best for the future.”

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director, of Furniture Village added: “In recognition of our team, their strength and success, Furniture Village has also decided to introduce an Employee Benefit Family Partnership which will be a means of sharing the results of great performance with everyone in our special business.”

The news comes ahead of the imminent opening of its 55th UK store in Colchester on Boxing Day.

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Concord Prices $1.8 Billion ABS to Finance Corporate Growth Strategy

Apollo

Apollo Structured and Anchored ABS as Long-term Financing Partner

NASHVILLE AND NEW YORK – December 8, 2022 – Concord, a global leader in music publishing, recorded music and theatrical rights licensing, has successfully priced $1.8 billion of senior notes secured by a significant portion of its highly diversified catalogue of sound recordings and songs. It is the largest asset-backed securitization offering of music rights in the industry to date in terms of both size of issuance and number of assets (over one million copyrights). Apollo (NYSE: APO), through its Capital Solutions business, structured the ABS transaction and formed an investor syndicate led by Apollo-managed funds. JP Morgan served as a co-structuring agent of the transaction. Proceeds from the issuance will be reinvested to support Concord’s continued growth in 2023 and beyond.

“Concord has reached a new milestone in its own evolution and for the broader global industry in pricing the largest music ABS transaction in history,” said Bob Valentine, President of Concord. “I’m proud to help lead a company partnered with the astonishing depth and breadth of artistic talent that the works financed by this securitization represent. I’m also extraordinarily thankful that a significant number of blue-chip financial institutions have taken note of our success to date and chosen to participate in our future. As we continue to better position Concord as a bellwether in the industry, our focus remains the same: to elevate the voices of artists and musicians using the global, independent platform that we have been assembling for years. We are grateful to our financing partners at Apollo and JP Morgan who helped us develop a long-term capital solution that reflects the strength of the portfolio we have built to date and further validates our active management strategy.”

Concord’s transaction reflects the growing value of music copyrights and increased interest from financial institutions in music royalties as a long-term, annuity-like asset class. The music industry is experiencing a period of sustained expansion, fueled by exponential growth in the global streaming market, new marketing platforms, increased collector demand for vinyl records and, with the integration of new technologies, diversified platforms for music commercialization. These combined factors benefit both legacy catalogues and new releases while driving artist and songwriter revenue.

Concord’s new 5-year facility is backed by an actively managed catalogue of more than 1 million unique music assets spanning a wide-range of genres, including over 300 GRAMMY Award winners and more than 400 recordings with Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum and Diamond Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certifications. The catalogue is valued at more than $4 billion, resulting in an approximate 44% loan-to-value ratio for the offering and the notes are rated A+ by KBRA.

Apollo Partner and Head of Asset-Backed Finance Bret Leas said, “Concord’s experienced management team continues to build a world-renowned catalogue of assets with diversification and cash flow characteristics well suited for asset-based lending. We are pleased to provide a tailored, flexible structured solution that supports their continued growth.”

Apollo Capital Solutions’ Paul Sipio added, “This transaction leverages the scale of our investment platform alongside our growing Capital Solutions business to originate, anchor and syndicate a comprehensive financing solution. Having known the Concord Board and management team for many years, we are pleased to support their future success.”

Concord continues to grow as a major force in the music industry. Works in the securitization catalogue alone include songs and recordings by Phil Collins, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Daft Punk, Miles Davis, Danny Elfman, Evanescence, The Fania All-Stars, John Fogerty, Genesis, Imagine Dragons, Isaac Hayes, James Taylor, Jewel, Joan Sebastian, Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd, Cyndi Lauper, Little Richard, Nikki Six, Otis Redding, R.E.M., Rodgers & Hammerstein, Pete Seeger, Taking Back Sunday, Ryan Tedder, The Traveling Wilburys, The Vince Guaraldi Trio, Hans Zimmer and hundreds more.

FTI served as the valuation agent on the transaction and KBRA provided ratings services. DLA Piper served as legal counsel to Concord, and King & Spalding LLP as legal counsel to Apollo affiliates. Reed Smith and Greenberg Traurig serviced as special counsel with respect to music assets for Concord and for Apollo affiliates, respectively.

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ABOUT CONCORD
Concord is the independent, worldwide leader in the development, management and acquisition of sound recordings, music publishing, theatrical performance rights and narrative content. Headquartered in Nashville with additional offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, Melbourne and Miami, Concord also has staff in Auckland, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. The Company’s catalog consists of more than 1 million songs, composed works, plays, musicals and active recordings which are licensed in virtually every country and territory worldwide.

CONCORD LABEL GROUP is comprised of seven active labels across many musical genres: Fantasy Records, Fearless Records, Loma Vista Recordings, Rounder Records, Easy Eye Sound, Concord Records and Concord Jazz.

The company’s historical labels are managed by its Craft Recordings team, and include such storied imprints as Fania, Independiente, Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Pablo, Prestige, Riverside, Savoy, Specialty, Stax, Telarc, Varèse Sarabande, Vee-Jay, Victory and Wind-up. Concord’s master recording portfolio contains more than 275,000 active song recordings and includes no less than 300 GRAMMY® winners (representing over 6.6% of all the GRAMMYs® ever awarded) and over 400 Gold, Platinum, multi-Platinum and Diamond RIAA certifications across 215 titles.

Concord is also home to the #1 kids’ music brand, KIDZ BOP. Now in its 20th year, the global hit music franchise has sold 22.5 million albums, generated 8 billion streams, and continues to reach kids and families with new music, videos, consumer products and live tours.

CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING represents more than 600,000 copyrighted works by the world’s most celebrated songwriters, composers and lyricists. Spanning nearly two centuries of song, through a vast array of genres and territories, Concord Music Publishing also supports a diverse group of contemporary creators producing important and popular new songs and musical works. Concord Music Publishing is home to the world’s leading classical music publisher, Boosey & Hawkes, and operates exclusive joint ventures with top pop music publisher, Pulse Music Group and Hillary Lindsey’s Hang Your Hat Music.

CONCORD THEATRICALS is the world’s most significant theatrical company, comprising the catalogs of R&H Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark and The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, plus dozens of new signings each year. Our unparalleled roster includes the work of Irving Berlin, Agatha Christie, George & Ira Gershwin, Marvin Hamlisch, Lorraine Hansberry, Kander & Ebb, Ken Ludwig, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dominique Morisseau, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Thornton Wilder and August Wilson. We are the only firm providing truly comprehensive services to the creators and producers of plays and musicals, including theatrical licensing, music publishing, script publishing, cast recording and first-class production.

CONCORD ORIGINALS is Concord’s narrative content creation division. The team develops and produces stories anchored by Concord’s artists, music and theatrical works. Concord Originals takes a proactive, narrative-driven approach to each project and partners with A-list storytellers to produce premium content for screen and beyond. The division’s slate is comprised of feature films, series, documentaries and podcasts, including remakes and re-imaginings of properties from Concord’s iconic portfolio.

Concord is a private company funded by long-term institutional capital and members of Concord’s management team. At the forefront of intellectual property valuation, acquisition and utilization, the Concord investment underscores the partners’ belief in the lasting and appreciating global value of superior original creative content.

About Apollo
Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager. In our asset management business, we seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three investing strategies: yield, hybrid, and equity. For more than three decades, our investing expertise across our fully integrated platform has served the financial return needs of our clients and provided businesses with innovative capital solutions for growth. Through Athene, our retirement services business, we specialize in helping clients achieve financial security by providing a suite of retirement savings products and acting as a solutions provider to institutions. Our patient, creative, and knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees, and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of September 30, 2022, Apollo had approximately $523 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.apollo.com.

Contact Information

Noah Gunn
Global Head of Investor Relations
Apollo Global Management, Inc.
(212) 822-0540
IR@apollo.com

Joanna Rose
Global Head of Corporate Communications
Apollo Global Management, Inc.
(212) 822 0491

Communications@apollo.com

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Argos Wityu sells Juratoys to Maped

argos wityu

Argos Wityu, an independent European investment fund, has agreed to sell Juratoys, a designer and distributor of toys and games (Janod, Kaloo and Liliputiens brands) to the family-owned Maped group, a leader in school, writing, colouring and office supplies.

Argos Wityu orchestrated the spin-off and carve-out of the 50-year-old French group Juratoys in 2018. Leader in the educational and wooden toys segment, with strong, well-known brands, Juratoys has achieved rapid growth in its business. The company has nearly 170 employees, who generate annual turnover of more than €80m, vs a little more than €50m in 2018. The company’s growth and development has been articulated around several important principles embedded in its strategy:

  • Strengthened product design and development oriented towards early childhood learning;
  • Permanent commitment to an environmental policy to foster progress and preserve the world in which the next generation will come of age;
  • Rapid international expansion, which has increased the portion of sales outside France to almost half the total;
  • Digitalisation of the company’s activities in marketing and in the company’s relationships with its distributors and end-customers;
  • Acquisitions, such as the merger with the Belgian company Lilliputiens in 2020.

Through its concerted environmental efforts, Juratoys has: 

  • Reduced its consumption of plastic by 5.3 tonnes p.a. by eliminating packaging;
  • Organised the planting of 4,500 trees every year, including 1,500 in France, with Kinomé, a reforestation initiative, and ONF, the French national forestry office, in an effort to be both educational and inclusive;
  • Focused on using FSC wood and cardboard as well as packing materials derived from recycled plastic bottles.

Read about all of the group’s ESG commitments here: www.jouez-engage.fr

The merger of Juratoys and Maped is right in line with the two companies’ mission to support children as they grow and define themselves at every stage in their lives.

The merger will enable the two companies to benefit from their numerous complementary features, combining academic and pleasurable learning. Maped’s international distribution network as well as its industrial expertise will boost growth at Juratoys.

Ludovic Martin, Chairman and CEO of Juratoys, said, “The years we have spent alongside Argos have been fruitful and enriching.  We have the feeling Argos has always listened to us and supported us. We have been able to take advantage of Argos’s expertise and that of its other companies. We carried out several strategic projects such as digitalising the company and developing our international sales. We grew significantly and intelligently with the acquisition of Lilliputiens in 2020. Together we made strong ESG commitments on all fronts. A new chapter in the life of Juratoys is now opening, as it joins a leading company in a related and very complementary market to that of toys and games. Our geographical and cultural proximity will be an advantage for our development. Together we will continue to create opportunities for children and their parents to experience and share happy moments, both in France and abroad.”

Romain Lacroix, Chairman and CEO of Maped, added, “Acquiring Juratoys and its longstanding brands Janod, Kaloo and Lilliputiens gives Maped’s diversification strategy the boost it needs to pursue the new group’s targets. We are pleased to take part in building a large French group that aims to distribute school supplies and educational, sustainable and fun toys and games to accompany children throughout the world in every aspect of their learning.”

Gilles Lorang, Managing Partner Argos Wityu concluded, “The management of Juratoys has done a remarkable job managing both rapid organic growth and the integration of Lilliputiens, while continuing to carry out ground-breaking, strategic and transformative ESG initiatives. We are confident that the merger with Maped will enable Juratoys to continue its expansion. We would like to thank the management team for their pleasant and efficient collaboration, and we wish them all the best in the years to come.”

Argos Wityu team: Gilles Lorang, Mario Giannattasio, Pierre Cassignol

Seller’s financial advisers: Clearwater international (Philippe Guezenec, Marie Cassola, Valentine Mevel, Matthias Krimmel)
Seller’s legal advisers: McDermott Will & Emery (Bertrand Delafaye, Herschel Guez, Alexandre Adande)
Seller’s financial due diligence: KPMG (Olivier Boumendil, Benoit Luscan, Adrien Bes)
Buyer’s financial advisers: Natixis Partners (Jean-Noel Combasson, Driss Mernissi)
Seller’s tax advisers: Arsene Taxand (Franck Chaminade, Valentine Roulin)
Buyer’s legal advisers: Delsol Avocats (Emmanuel Kaeppelin, Caroline Da Lage, Raphaël Ory)
Management advisers: Facchin Avocats (Cyril Facchin)

Argos Wityu

Coralie Cornet
Head of Communications
ccc@argos.fund
+33 (0)6 14 38 33 37

Juratoys

Stéphanie Barthoulot
Head of Communications & ESG
stephanie.barthoulot@juratoys.com
+33 6 80 27 29 40

About Argos Wityu / www.argos.wityu.fund
One firm, two strategies.
Argos Wityu is an independent European private equity group that supports the growth of mid-sized businesses and backs their management teams.
With more than €1.4bn assets under management, over 30 years of experience and more than 90 businesses assisted, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris. The group seeks to acquire majority stakes and invests between €10m and €100m in each investment of its two strategies:
• The Midmarket fund helps companies implement ownership transitions to accelerate growth
• The Climate Action fund aims at shaping European sustainable leaders by making their “Grey to Green” transition

About Juratoys / janod.comkaloo.comlilliputiens.be
Juratoys has been designing and distributing toys and games for 50 years. Its Janod and Kaloo brands, acquired in 2011, and Lilliputiens, acquired in 2020, are recognised for their design, the quality of their materials and their educational values, which contribute to early childhood development and learning. The company is also the exclusive distributor in France and Belgium of certain international toy brands, such as Ty. Juratoys manages more than 1,400 products under its three proprietary brands and places great emphasis on innovation, designing more than 350 new products every year. The company has 170 employees and generates annual turnover of more than €80 million. The company is present in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and China.

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Eurazeo announces sale of majority ownership position in Nest New York to North Castle Partners led investor group

Eurazeo

Eurazeo, a leading global investment company with a diversified portfolio of €32.5 billion in assets under management, today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its majority ownership position in NEST New York (“NEST” or the “Company”), a leading fragrance lifestyle brand, in a transaction that values NEST at approximately $200 million. Under the terms of the transaction, an investor group led by North Castle Partners (“North Castle”), a consumer-focused private equity firm, will purchase a majority stake in NEST, with Eurazeo and NEST Founder Laura Slatkin retaining minority ownership positions. Following the close of this transaction, Eurazeo’s invested equity capital will yield a return of approximately 2.7x.

Eurazeo’s Brands Division launched in May 2017 and NEST was its debut investment. Under Eurazeo’s management, NEST’s leadership team accelerated product innovation, expanded brand awareness and significantly increased the brand’s digital penetration. As a result, overall brand sales tripled, direct-to-consumer sales increased 10-fold and EBITDA margins significantly expanded. NEST is the leading luxury home fragrance brand in the U.S., a top 10 women’s fine fragrance brand at Sephora and continues to be recognized for its innovation, having won two 2022 Allure Best of Beauty awards and having been named “Best New Beauty Brand” in the U.K. by The Fragrance Foundation.

Laura Slatkin, Founder of NEST New York, said:

“Since I founded NEST in 2008, I have been fortunate to have exceptional partners that have helped the brand solidify its position as one of the world’s most trusted and highly regarded fragrance brands. I am deeply grateful for Eurazeo’s partnership and expertise, which have enabled the business to flourish and deliver impressive growth over the past five years. As the brand embarks on its next chapter of growth, I look forward to partnering with North Castle and reuniting with Rich Gersten, whom I have had the pleasure of working with in the past.”

Maria Dempsey, CEO of NEST New York, said:

“NEST New York is a beloved fragrance lifestyle brand that has seen explosive growth over the past several years due to a laser-focus on product innovation, new customer acquisition, digital expansion and creative storytelling. This significant growth has been achieved with our exceptional team of professionals, strong retailer partnerships and a highly collaborative relationship with Eurazeo. We are thrilled to be working alongside the North Castle team on this next phase of growth.”

Jill Granoff, Managing Partner of Eurazeo and CEO of Eurazeo’s Brands Division, said:

“Laura, Maria and the NEST team have been exemplary partners, and together, we have built the NEST brand and driven tremendous value creation. We look forward to working with North Castle Partners on the next chapter of NEST’s growth to leverage the Company’s strong foundation and expand the business globally.”

Hemanshu Patel, Partner at North Castle Partners, noted:

“We’re very excited to partner with Eurazeo and the management team at NEST and welcome the Company into North Castle’s family of health and wellness focused brands that are leaders in their respective categories. It’s an ideal situation for us with Rich Gersten, Beauty Industry Advisor at North Castle Partners, having worked with Laura and NEST in the past.”

Rich Gersten added:

“I have always been a huge fan of the brand and its potential, and it is exciting to partner with NEST once again at this inflection point to expand the brand’s reach across categories and geographies.”

NEST represents North Castle’s second beauty and personal care investment in the last two years. North Castle has spent more than two decades partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to scale brands and unlock the full potential of companies in the Healthy, Active and Sustainable Living sector.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of November. Perella Weinberg Partners LP acted as financial advisor to NEST.

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Bluegem partners with Suavinex

Bleugem

Consumer specialist private equity firm Bluegem Capital Partners today announces that Bluegem III, through its portfolio company Béaba, has acquired a majority stake in Suavinex, a premium Spanish baby care brand.

Headquartered in Spain, the group is recognised for high quality and innovative baby products focused on baby bottles, soothers and personal care for babies and mothers. The business has manufacturing operations in Slovakia and Spain as well as an in-house team of engineers and technicians who have developed a wide range of worldwide patented products.

Suavinex was established in 1980 and in 1988 pioneered the launch of a revolutionary weaning product, the three position teat system, making it possible to adapt the flow of liquid from the bottle to the baby’s rate of sucking and type of food. In 2018 the business released Zero-Zero, an innovative product range of anti-colic baby bottles and soothers utilising patented technology and founded on the principles of medical benefits.

While most of the sales are in Spain, via a team of direct sales agents locally, the business has dedicated sales teams also in Italy, France and China, in addition to sales through distributors globally. In tandem the business has a strong and growing digital presence and a loyal customer base willing to repurchase and recommend the brand. The business benefits from an end to end vertically integrated business model allowing for full control over the entire value chain.

Suavinex is acquired by Bluegem’s third generation fund which held its final close in February of this year and has already made five investments in a diversified portfolio of resilient consumer subsectors. The combination of Suavinex and Béaba will establish a leading European company in the baby care sector, with a global footprint and a strong focus on feeding newborns to 24-month-old babies.

Commenting on the acquisition, Julien Laporte, CEO at Beaba and Operating Partner at Bluegem said:

“We firmly believe in the quality of Suavinex products and in its leadership position in the Spanish market. We are excited by the opportunity to consolidate two fantastic brands and look forward to creating a European leader in the baby care sector, focused on feeding and personal care.”

Mathieu Develay, Partner at Bluegem said:

“Suavinex is a great addition to Bluegem III and our portfolio of resilient consumer brands. We see premium baby care, especially the feeding and personal care segments, as core components of non-discretionary demand: parents don’t compromise on quality when providing for their babies. By combining two premium brands in this space, Béaba and Suavinex, we see a strong opportunity to drive growth and value, from a safe and stable base.”

Juan Ramón García, CEO at Suavinex commented:

“Suavinex is a leading “love brand” in the Spanish newborn and personal care market, developing and marketing high quality and innovative products. The integration into the Peek-a-Boo Group (Beaba) will strengthen Suavinex presence in international markets, continuing the company’s strategy initiated 10 years ago, and will enhance the value of its manufacturing facilities located in Spain and Slovakia. Our aim, with this alliance, is to create one of the most important European groups in baby care and personal care.”

About Bluegem Capital Partners LLP

Bluegem is a specialist private equity firm investing in brands underpinned by non-discretionary demand and megatrend tailwinds.  Bluegem utilise a proprietary artificial intelligence toolkit alongside an experienced team of investment professionals to accelerate business growth.  Bluegem have a track record of partnering with management teams across Europe through different economic cycles and market conditions, focusing on resilient consumer segments including: Beauty and Personal Care; Household Care; Food and Beverage; Baby Care; Pet Care; and Hobby and Craft. More information about Bluegem can be found at www.bluegemcp.com.

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