HLD Europe, a small and recently founded private equity firm incorporated in Luxembourg and backed by wealthy French investors, will raise up to €40m through a debut five year Euro private placement.

HLD private equity firm issues Euro PP, seeks high quality backers

HLD Europe, a small and recently founded private equity firm incorporated in Luxembourg and backed by wealthy French investors, will raise up to €40m through a debut five year Euro private placement.

It raised the first instalment of €26.9m on March 29 via Edmond de Rothschild and Aurel BGC.

“We have not totally finalised the transaction yet,” said Anne Canel, chief financial officer at HLD Groupe. “We have raised €26.9m at the end of March from some institutional and private investors and we have until the end of April to raise up to €40m.”

The March 2021 note pays a coupon of 5.65% and is listed on the Euro MTF. CMS

Bureau Francis Lefebvre Luxembourg advised the issuer and arranger in Luxembourg, while Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel advised the arranger in France.

“There are two reasons for issuing in the Euro PP format, » said Canel. « First, we wanted to experiment with the listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and it was the first step to approach this institution. The second is that this type of bond can trigger interest from future or potential shareholders in HLD Groupe.”

Canel stressed that “the clients of one of the arrangers, Edmond de Rothschild, are very interested in the Euro PP project as well”.

HLD Groupe, which bears the initials of its three founders, JeanPhilippe

Hecketsweiler, JeanBernard Lafonta and Philippe Donnet, was set up in 2010 in Paris with a startup capital of €40m. The Luxembourg’s office was launched in July 2015. “Large French entrepreneurs are the historical shareholders in the group and we wish to keep that profile of high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs,” said Canel.

Lafonta owns a 40% stake, Donnet 5% and Hecketsweiler 2.9%. The Decaux and

Dentressangle families have 14% and 9% respectively, and the five other individual investors include JeanPierre Mustier, former head of Société Générale CIB, and Claude Bébéar, founder of Axa.

HLD is not planning to raise new debt this year but might raise equity capital and would be happy to welcome new high quality European investors this year, she added.

The company’s objective is to invest in unlisted European companies, with little debt but potential for revenue growth and profitability. It has invested in eight companies so far, and has assets of €205m. They include businesses in the cosmetics, healthcare, ecommerce and events markets.

“We plan to invest between €50m and €80m each year, and we wish to go out of France and invest in large European businesses,” said Canel.

The company will use the proceeds of the Euro PP for general corporate purposes and subsequent investments. “We don’t want to focus on a special sector and we wish to help growing companies and support their current management teams,” Canel added.

By Luka Dimitrov