The French private equity firm Ardian, offering a 1.1 billion euros valuation, conquers Biofarma Group, an Italian specialist in the market of food supplements, medical devices and cosmetics, born in February 2020 from the merger between Nutrilinea and Biofarma, both White Bridge investments‘ portfolio companies (see here a previous article by BeBeez) and that last December bought the finished products division of Giellepi spa, through a business unit sale (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Reuters wrote yesterday, while a press release issued this morning says that the Scarpa family will still retain their 30% stake in the company (see here the press release).
White Bridge Investments currently holds 70% of the shares of Biofarma Group, while the remaining 30% belongs to Germano Scarpa and Gabriella Tavasani, former owners of Biofarma. White Bridge had invested in Nutrilinea in September 2017 (see here a previous article by BeBeez), while it had acquired Biofarma in December 2019 (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
Financial advisors for Ardian in the operation were Nomura (lead advisor), BNP Paribas and Mediobanca; Houlihan Lokey as for debt issues; as for legal issues Gianni & Origoni, Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Gattai, Minoli, Partners (financing); BCG for the commercial due diligence; PwC for the financial due diligence; Gitti and Partners for the tax due diligence; and Tauw for the ESG & environmental due diligence. Advising White Bridge on financial issues were Canson Capital and Ethica Group; the legal advisor was Giovannelli & Associati; the tax advisor Gatti, Pavesi, Bianchi and Ludovici; while Deloitte was in charge of the vendor financial due diligence. Finally, the Scarpa family was assisted in financial, fiscal and legal terms by Molaro Pezzetta Romanelli Del Fabbro & Partners.
Led by the ceo Maurizio Castorina and chaired by Germano Scarpa, the group is based in Mereto di Tomba (Udine) and counts 800 employees and 170 production lines in four production plants located in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy and Veneto.
Biofarma Group closed 2020 with a consolidated production value of 189 million euros, net revenues of 176.9 million euros, an ebitda of 37 millions and a net financial debt of 85.7 million (see here the report by Leanus, after registering for free). But pro-forma turnover for 2021 is of about 230 million euros. Actually Reuters talks about revenues for 330 million euros and a 50 million ebitda without specifing the referral year so it is reasonable to imagine that these are 2022 expected figures, meaning that Biofarma Group has been valued about 22x its expected 2022 ebitda.
For Ardian this is the second investment in the sector in six months after the one in the Swedish Recipharm, when last June the fund joined EQT private equity firm in the capital. EQT delisted Recipharm from the Stockholm stock exchange last February following a takeover bid (see the press release at the time here).
White Bridge Investments continues to grind deals. In recent days, its portfolio company Specchiasol, one of the Italian leaders in food supplements, medical devices and cosmetics, took over the majority of Farma Derma, thus creating a national champion in the development of health-care products with high medical value (see here a previous article by BeBeez). At the end of December 2021, White Bridge had instead acquired the Lampa fashion accessories from Cronos Capital Partners, a holding company controlled by Alessandro Besana and Lorenzo Bovo, which has been controlling a 70% stake of Lampa since June 2019 joining the Mirko and Luca Bertoli brothers, who kept the remaining 30% of the company (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
(Article modified on Jan 17th at 9.15 am – details from the press release have been included)