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GE Capital Int’l, Ares Complete 113.5MM GBP Refinancing of Hillarys

August 04, 2014, 07:39 AM
Filed Under: Distribution

European Capital Limited and certain affiliates have completed a £113.5 million refinancing of their portfolio company, Hillarys, the UK's leading made-to-measure supplier of domestic window coverings, and have used the proceeds, together with a further £5.5 million equity investment, to buy out minority investor, Permira Debt Managers.  The refinancing takes the form of term and revolving credit facilities provided by incumbent lenders GE Capital International, Ares Management Ltd. and Permira Debt Managers.

"We are delighted with this positive refinancing of the Hillarys business and pleased that we have been able to meaningfully increase our equity participation," said Giles Cheek, Managing Director, European Buyouts.  "With its unique business model, Hillarys continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to continuing to partner with management and together delivering on exciting new growth opportunities."

Founded in 1971, Hillarys is the leading provider of made-to-measure window coverings in the UK. It operates a direct sales model offering blinds, shutters, curtains and carpets through a nationwide network of 950 advisors visiting half a million homes a year.  The business also sells to customers through the web under the Web-Blinds and Blinds Supermarket brands and to trade customers under Arena and Custom West.  Hillarys is headquartered in Nottingham, UK and employs 1,200 people across its assembly facilities and offices in Nottingham and Washington, UK.

"Through continued investment in people, infrastructure and product development, Hillarys' management team has successfully grown the business and increased market share in what has been a difficult consumer environment," commented Benjamin Suquet, Director, European Buyouts.  "With this refinancing completed, Hillarys is ideally positioned to capitalise on the ongoing economic recovery in the UK."

John Risman, CEO of Hillarys said, "European Capital has been a very supportive partner, both financially and operationally, and we are pleased that they continue to invest in Hillarys and the vision we have for the future of the company.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with them and our lending syndicate."

European Capital is an investment company for pan-European private equity, mezzanine and senior debt investments with €0.9 billion in assets under management. European Capital is a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital, Ltd ("American Capital"). It is managed by European Capital Asset Management Limited ("ECAM" or the "Investment Manager"), a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital. The Investment Manager has offices in London and Paris. As of 30 June 2014 the Investment Manager had 24 investment professionals and employed 31 support staff. European Capital and its affiliate, American Capital, will consider private equity transactions euros or sterling of up to 400 million for One Stop Buyouts® and 10 million to 40 million for senior, mezzanine and unitranche debt investment opportunities.

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