Belgian MBO backed by unitranche deal

The change of control hands a majority stake in the firm to France’s IDI and brings leverage to around 4x.

The management buyout of Belgian industrial fabric producer Pennel & Flipo was supported by a unitranche loan arranged and funded by Tikehau IM. Sponsors IDI and Capstan have taken equity stakes alongside the firm’s management. 

The debt totals between €40 million and €50 million and is structured as a seven-year non-amortising unitranche. The loan pays a combination of cash margin, payment-in-kind and includes warrants. The buyout financing leaves the company at around 4x levered, PDI understands. 

Belgium-based Pennel & Flipo’s director of industry, Emmanuel Capriglione, will take over management of the firm. Three other members of the executive committee are also involved in the deal: David Ray, Bernard Delcourt and Gérard Maerten. 

Listed French investment firm IDI takes a majority equity position with growth capital investor Cabestan Capital taking a minority stake. Cabestan’s investment will be managed by Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. 

The new shareholders will support the company in its three major aims – developing new materials, expanding into international markets and exploring growth opportunities, IDI said in a statement.

Pennel & Flipo manufactures a range of treated fabrics for industrial use such as inflatable water rescue equipment. The firm has 85 employees, five sales offices in China, France, Italy, Russia and the US and recorded €29.5 million in sales in 2013, according to its website. 

Tikehau signed off on the unitranche deal this week. It also recently helped lead a €240 million term loan B for Charterhouse’s acquisition of a 50 percent stake in events business Comexposium. The financing paid a margin of 475bps over Libor. Debt managers Hayfin and Tikehau had been lined up to finance the deal before three bank lenders joined the facility; Credit Agricole, ING and Société Générale. 

Tikehau was founded in 2004 and had around €5 billion in assets at the end of 2014.