BC Partners buys French frozen food giant Picard

25th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 23 (AFP) - The European private equity firm BC Partners is to acquire Picard Surgeles, France's top frozen food retailer, for EUR 1.308 billion (USD 1.653 billion), the companies announced on Saturday.

PARIS, Oct 23 (AFP) - The European private equity firm BC Partners is to acquire Picard Surgeles, France's top frozen food retailer, for EUR 1.308 billion (USD 1.653 billion), the companies announced on Saturday.

"Providing it is approved by the competition authorities, the operation should be completed by the end of the year," they said in a joint statement.

Picard Surgeles, "with the support of BC Partners, intends to strengthen its leadership in the French market, boost operations in Italy and take advantage of all growth opportunities in France as well as Europe," it said.

BC Partners was bidding against the British company Cinven, the US firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and the French groups PAI and Eurazeo for control of the company.

Picard, currently owned by four investment funds - Candover, Montagu Private Equity, Astorg Partners and Chevrillon, was acquired from the French retail giant Carrefour in 2001 in a transaction worth EUR 920 million.

Founded in 1973, Picard had a turnover of EUR 747 million in 2003, a 12.7 percent increase on the previous year. It operates 570 stores in France, with 40 new branches opening each year, and also has 45 stores in Italy.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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