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Céréa Partenaire buys food advertising firm in pass-the-parcel deal

The French firm is currently investing its second private equity vehicle, which it closed on €225m in January.

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The French firm is currently investing its second private equity vehicle, which it closed on €225m in January.

Céréa Partenaire has acquired Store Novation, a French company that provides point-of-sale advertising solutions to a clientele largely made up of large-scale food retailers.

The pass-the-parcel deal – a secondary sale of assets between private equity firms – provides an exit to Azulis Capital, a Paris-based private equity firm which had bought the asset in 2011 from Argos Soditic, another buyout house. Azulis had not responded to a request for comment on returns at the time of publication.

Store Novation, which generates annual sales of nearly €40 million and counts about 150 employees, is active in France and exports to more than 50 countries. Céréa funded the transaction through Céréa Capital II, a vehicle closed on €225 million in January. The value of the deal was not disclosed, and the firm did not wish to comment.

Céréa Capital II, which aims to make controlling investments of between €3 million and €15 million, targets French or European SMEs with an enterprise value in the €15 million to €150 million range. A successor to the €130 million Céréa Capital I, it aims to hold onto investments for up to seven years.

Private equity is just one of the strategies followed by Céréa. In September, the firm hired Simon Baccelli as director of its agri-debt business as it gears up to deploy its debut vehicle dedicated to the asset class, closed in April 2016 on €268 million.

Céréa’s senior debt activity is a more recent outfit than its mezzanine unit, which closed its third fund on €200 million in January. Predecessor vehicles, closed on €105 million and €127 million, were fully invested in 2008 and 2016, respectively.