PARIS, January 24 /PRNewswire/ -- European Capital, S.A. SICAR announced today it has invested euro 13 million (US$16 million) in the mezzanine facility of Poliris, the leading French online publisher of real estate housing listings for real estate agencies. European Capital's investment represents a majority share of the warranted mezzanine facility arranged by BNP Paribas, supporting the acquisition of Poliris by 3i. Poliris management is maintaining a significant equity investment. European Capital will be Agent of the mezzanine facility and will have a Board observer seat.
"We are delighted to announce another European Capital investment in an outstanding company. In addition, we are both supporting a world leader in private equity and working with a premier debt provider," said Ira Wagner, President of European Capital Financial Services Limited ("European Capital Services"), the investment sub manager of European Capital. "We are pleased with the progress we are making at European Capital. We continue to add to the distinguished list of sponsors whom we support with mezzanine investments."
European Capital has invested approximately euro 209 million (US$254 million) in 10 companies since its formation in August of 2005.
"Poliris management pioneered online listings in France and we believe them to be the most experienced team operating in that market," said Jean Eichenlaub, European Capital Managing Director. "Poliris is the number one online real estate listing publisher in France with more than four times the audience and listings of its nearest direct competitor. At the same time, the Company shows strong growth potential as demand for convenient online real estate listings increases."
"Poliris benefits from very high brand awareness in France," said Stephane Legrand, European Capital Vice President. "Through its web sites, the Company captures the widest Internet audience and ensures maximum exposure for the listings of its customers, the real estate agencies. In addition, the Company benefits from significant recurring revenue stream, strong cash flow and limited capital expenditures."
Founded in 1992, Poliris is based in Paris and has 111 employees. Its real estate listing web sites are http://www.seloger.com and http://www.immostreet.com. The Company realized sales growth of 34%, annualized, from 2003 through 2005.
"We wanted European Capital to play a significant role in this transaction," said Olivier Le Gall, 3i Director. "Their flexible approach to problem solving and quick decision making served us well," said Julien Vagner, 3i Director.
ABOUT EUROPEAN CAPITAL
European Capital is a buyout and mezzanine fund with capital resources of euro 750 million. European Capital invests in and sponsors management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts and provides capital directly to private and mid-sized public companies. European Capital invests from euro 5 million to euro 125 million per transaction in equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt to fund growth, acquisitions and recapitalizations.
Companies interested in learning more about European Capital's flexible financing should contact Jean Eichenlaub at +33(0)1-40-68-06-66 in Paris, or Nathalie Faure Beaulieu or Simon Henderson at +44(0)20-7539-7000 in London, or visit the website at http://www.EuropeanCapital.com.
ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL
American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS), an affiliate of European Capital, is a publicly traded buyout and mezzanine fund with capital resources of approximately US$7 billion. American Capital invests in and sponsors management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts, provides capital directly to private and small public companies and through its asset management business is a manager of debt and equity investments in private companies and commercial loan obligations. American Capital provides senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and securitizations.
3i is a FTSE100 company and a world leader in private equity and venture capital. 3i focuses on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital in Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific across most sectors, including real estate. Recently, 3i has invested in PriceMinister.com and has supported the flotation of Interhyp AG, a leading online mortgage broker in Germany. Other 3i real estate investments include Lamy/Gestrim, French leaders of property management and Gesinar Servicios Inmobiliarios in Spain.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements regarding expected results of American Capital Strategies are subject to various factors and uncertainties, including the uncertainties associated with the timing of transaction closings, changes in interest rates, availability of transactions, changes in regional, national or international economic conditions, or changes in the conditions of the industries in which American Capital has made investments.
Web site: http://www.americancapital.com
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