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All Group media enquiries should be directed to
Vanessa Maydon, Corporate Affairs Director.

Cinven Partners LLP
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London EC4M 7AG

Tel: +44 (0)20 7661 3325
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Email: Vanessa Maydon

Press releases

Frans Bonhomme
20 October 2005

Cinven acquires Frans Bonhomme in conjunction with management team, from Apax Partners

The successful growth strategy of the group will be continued and extended outside France.

European private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that following advice from the works council, it has entered into an agreement with Apax Partners France and its co-investors* for the acquisition of Frans Bonhomme, France’s leading distributor of PVC pipes and pipe fittings. Apax Partners accompanied the company in a key phase of development of its network in France and its international outlets.

Frans Bonhomme, with more than 120,000 customers in France and more than 30,000 items in its catalogues, is the leader in the distribution of plastic pipes and their accessories to construction and public works professionals as well as plumbing tradesmen. By developing more innovative products in areas such as pipes, irrigation, sanitation, drainage, heating and water evacuation, Frans Bonhomme has made significant improvements in corrosion prevention, reliability, flexibility of use, and ease of installation.

Frans Bonhomme is the only specialist player in its field and has a strong position throughout the French territory due to its network of 270 points of sale. The company has a turnover of €538 million in 2004.

The management of Frans Bonhomme will continue to pursue its ambitious development strategy and will benefit from the full operational and financial support of Cinven.

Nicolas Paulmier, a Partner at Cinven said:
"Frans Bonhomme is a company whose operations, management and markets we know well. It has a strong position in its French domestic market where there continues to be good potential for the further expansion of its outlets and product ranges. Cinven looks forward to working with the management team in taking Frans Bonhomme forward into its next phase of development."

Hugh Langmuir, a Partner at Cinven, added:
“We are delighted to be able to once again lend our strategic and financial support to Frans Bonhomme in order to enable it to fulfil its development ambitions in particular in Spain where it has just made its first purchase and opened its first warehouses.”

Patrick de Giovanni, Partner at Apax Partners, said:

“Frans Bonhomme is one of our greatest success stories. We are proud we have contributed to the company’s exceptionally fast development over the last two years. Frans Bonhomme has succeeded in achieving its ambitious programme of outlet openings in France and in launching an international expansion, thanks to a renewed management team led by Michel Pic and to the involvement and motivation of its employees.”

The purchase was financed by funds from the €4.4 billion “third Cinven fund” and debt by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Cinven was advised by Freshfields.

* Barclays Private Equity, Crédit Agricole Private Equity, Goldman Sachs Mezzanine Partners and Quilvest.

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