Butler Capital Partners buys Sias

The Paris-based private equity firm has paid E170m for the fruit syrup business of Pernod-Ricard, the French beverage Group.

Butler Capital Partners, the Paris-based private equity house, has bought Sias, the fruit syrup business, for E170m from French beverage group Pernod-Ricard.

The Sias business operates across the US, Europe, South America and Asia and has annual sales of around E460m. The new owners’s main aim is to increase this figure further, said Walter Butler, founding partner at Butler Capital Partners.

“Our strategy is threefold. We will consolidate the market and keep our position as leader, we develop the manufacturing process technology, and increase productivity in France and Western Europe,” he said.

The last point will take the form of a restructuring of operations in France, which will mean a downsizing of the plant, said Butler.

“At the moment there is plenty to do, said Butler. “The fruit syrup market in Europe is growing and in the US, South America and Asia, it has huge potential. In a few years from now we’ll see what to do with the business. It could be a sale to a strategic buyer or an IPO, which given the operation’s size we feel would be easy.”

As part of the deal Pernod-Ricard is granting Butler a seller’s credit of E50m. In return the company will take an additional E25m if Butler later sells the business at a profit.

Butler Capital manages two buyout and turnaround funds with a total of $200m. It invests between E3m and E45m at a time in companies operating across a number of sectors including communications, electronics, life sciences and health sectors.