In December 1991 Cinven’s investors together with their Spanish partners supported a management buyout of Vives Vidal, the leading Spanish corsetry and swimwear manufacturer. The business was acquired by the management team from its founder who had retired. The company was strongly managed with tightly organised design and manufacturing operations and well-established and effective sales and distribution arrangements throughout Spain.
The management were committed to developing the business to become one of the leading players in the Europe-wide lingerie business. Cinven’s investors made a further investment in the business to assist it to acquire a French company in April 1992. The combined operation was the third largest in Europe and provided scope to exploit a variety of synergies and marketing benefits.
Less than one year after the additional funding was provided, the now significant market share controlled by the company attracted the attention of trade buyers. The result was that the business was sold to an American bidder, Vanity Fair International, in early 1993, offering a satisfactory return to investors after so short a period.
Multiple returned on investment: 1.4x