Sunday 22 July 2018

CapVest investors to share €200m payout in Mater-Valeo deal

US private equity firm offers chance to cash out or invest in new vehicle

Mater Private Hospital Photo: Google Maps
Mater Private Hospital Photo: Google Maps
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Investors in a fund with majority stakes in Valeo Foods and the Mater Private Hospital are to share in a €200m payday.

US private equity firm HarbourVest Partners is buying out a number of shareholders in the fund known as CapVest Fund II. The fund is managed by Irish private-equity firm CapVest, which is run by well-known businessman Seamus Fitzpatrick.

Investors are also being offered the chance to roll their interests over into a new vehicle, which will seek to maximise the value of the Mater and Valeo shareholdings.

The new fund will continue to be managed by CapVest.

This means that there will be no change in the relationship between fund manager CapVest and Valeo and the Mater.

CapVest declined to comment on the transaction when contacted by the Sunday Independent.

This deal gives investors the opportunity to realise a return on their investments as the fund reaches the end of its life.

Typically, when funds are known to be coming to the end of their term, it becomes more difficult to achieve higher prices for assets owned by the fund.

The transaction comes after CapVest received unsolicited approaches from investors looking to buy the assets earlier this year.

Mater Private Healthcare - which has a facility in Cork, as well as its flagship hospital in Dublin - had been up for sale as recently as last year, but no deal took place.

It and the Valeo stake are the two remaining assets in the fund.

Valeo - which is run by former Aer Lingus chief operating officer Seamus Kearney - has a portfolio of food brands, including Jacob's, Batchelors, Chef, Odlums, Erin and Kelkin.

That business was created by CapVest as a vehicle to acquire Batchelors and Origin Foods - a division of listed Origin Enterprises.

It bought tea and coffee maker Robert Roberts and health food company Kelkin from conglomerate DCC in a €60m transaction a number of years ago. It has also recently expanded into continental Europe via the acquisition of Italian sponge-cake-maker Balconi.

Belturbet man Fitzpatrick was ranked 161st on the Sunday Independent 2017 Rich List, with a personal wealth of €97m.

Other companies in Mayfair-based CapVest's past or present portfolio include Punch Taverns, pork producer Karro, and coffee distributor United Coffee.

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