LFPI exits Dutch retail chain debt

The France-based mezzanine manager has made an annual return of more than 20 percent.

Paris-headquartered mezzanine manager LFPI Group has exited all positions in the debt of Netherlands-based retailer HEMA as a result of a refinancing this summer, the firm said in a statement.

LFPI originally entered into the mezzanine debt of HEMA, a department store chain and portfolio company of private equity firm Lion Capital, via its LPFI Mezzanine fund in 2008. It made additional investments through 2011 with various vehicles of the group, the amounts of which were undisclosed. 

LFPI held approximately one-third of the mezzanine facility prior to the recent refinancing, the firm said, resulting in an annual return of more than 20 percent and more than two times multiple.

Established in 1926, HEMA is a department store chain operating around 660 shops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and France, while also selling products online. It supplies own-brand products across 14 categories including apparel, home and food products. The company generated sales in excess of €1.1 billion in the 2013/2014 financial year.

HEMA presented a new strategy and a reorganization of the company on Monday with more of a focus on convenience food. The changes have been made as a result of the company experiencing a difficult year in 2013 in which it suffered a net loss of €16.4 million, the NL Times reported.

LFPI has almost €3 billion of assets under management and is in the process of fundraising for its second mezzanine fund. It held a first close of €200 million in June this year and is targeting €400 million.