Leading European Manufacturer of baby products
Montagu acquired Ampafrance in June 2001 from a private owner for a total consideration of €103 million. After receiving number of unsolicited approaches from trade competitors, we sold the business to Dorel Industries Inc. for a total consideration of €225 million in February 2003. The exit generated a multiple in excess of four times our original investment.
This value creation was built from a strong performance in the business and the nurturing of potential trade bidders, many of whom had been excluded from the 2001 process, from the time of our investment. Understanding the components of the growth potential in the business, for example from the restructuring of the company's manufacturing facilities, was critical to the value growth story.
Ampafrance was the leading European manufacturer of a broad range of baby products including strollers, car seats and other smaller products. Its products were sold under the Bébé Confort, Monbébé, Baby Relax and Babidéal brands.
In the year to September 2002, Ampafrance generated sales of €175 million (out of which 59% were in France) and a 14.2% EBIT margin compared to sales of €145 million and a 6.3% EBIT margin in the year to September 2000, immediately preceding our acquisition.
Discussions regarding the acquisition in June 2001, which were started in the midst of a heavy restructuring program, progressed slowly as the vendor took time to choose his preferred bidder. During our courtship of the business we worked hard to build a thorough understanding of the business and were thus able to persuade the vendor to give us exclusivity. Having secured four weeks of privileged access, and in the knowledge that a trade buyer was waiting in the wings, we conducted the entire due diligence process in parallel with the contractual negotiations and the arrangement of the financing, allowing us to rapidly complete the acquisition. We completed the deal on time in line with the original terms.
The close working relationship and trust built between Montagu and Ampafrance's management in the deal process ensured that we were selected as the preferred bidder and subsequently enabled open and considered debate in respect of the positive development of the business.