London, November 13, 2009 – The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) (“Blackstone”) and Lion Capital LLP (“Lion Capital”) today announced that they have closed on the sale of the Orangina Schweppes Group (“Orangina”) to Suntory Holdings Limited (“Suntory”). The closing follows receipt of a binding offer from Suntory to purchase Orangina and the completion of all the social, regulatory and legal requirements necessary for a sale.
Lion Capital and Blackstone have been majority investment partners in Orangina Schweppes since 2006. Under their ownership and led by a largely new management team recruited by Blackstone and Lion Capital, Orangina Schweppes has achieved industry-leading growth, both organically in its core countries and by expansion into new markets, as well as through strategic acquisitions of leading brands. From 2006 to 2009, total group volumes and sales have expanded, supported by a re-launch of each of the core brands and stepped-up investment in trade and consumer marketing. Orangina Schweppes is today the largest producer in the European fruit still soft drinks market.
Rothschild, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Blackstone Corporate Advisory, RBS and Nomura acted as financial advisors to Lion Capital and Blackstone.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, creditoriented funds, collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com.
About Lion Capital
Lion Capital is a London-based investment firm that is recognized as a leader in investing in the consumer sector, with over €4 billion of equity capital invested in consumer businesses across Europe and North America. Lion's portfolio of market-leading food and beverage companies includes such well-known brands as Weetabix, the UK's number one cereal brand, Kettle Foods, a leading snack business in the UK and US, and the iconic Schweppes and Orangina beverage brands in Europe. Lion Capital's investment strategy is underpinned by exceptional experience within its senior team in investing in and operating within the consumer sector and the firm has a proven track record of successfully growing companies post acquisition. For more information
please visit: www.lioncapital.com.
+ 1 212.583.5263
For Lion Capital:
Shona Prendergast, Penrose Financial
+44 (0) 20 7786 4888
Kelly Mayer, Lion Capital
+44 (0) 20 7201 2231