Daily News: April 18, 2012

Bayside Capital Makes Investment in Desmet Ballestra


Bayside Capital announced that it has completed an investment in Desmet Ballestra. The new-money investment forms part of a comprehensive debt restructuring aimed at reducing indebtedness and establishing debt terms consistent with the company’s financial performance.

Desmet Ballestra, headquartered in France, is a provider of process engineering services, plants and equipment for the oil and fat industries and for the detergents and surfactants industries.

As part of the transaction, Bayside developed a comprehensive debt restructuring package, which included the deferral of senior debt maturities and the conversion of junior liabilities into equity-like instruments. In addition, new super-senior credit facilities totaling EUR28 MM were put in place to cover liquidity requirements. Private equity sponsor Equistone Partners Europe and a small group of senior and junior lenders contributed, alongside Bayside Capital, to the super-senior new money financing. Bayside had, in 2009 and 2010, accumulated a position in the senior debt of the company.

The transaction demonstrates Bayside’s ability to harness the combined capabilities of its secondary-market and primary-market platforms to establish sustainable capital structures for over-levered companies across Europe. The deal also highlights Bayside Capital’s growing presence in the direct-lending market. Bayside has, over the past 18 months, executed 4 primary-market transactions in Europe and 15 such transactions worldwide.

Under the leadership of a new management team, Desmet Ballestra’s financial performance has recovered substantially. EBITDA nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011, driven by a sharp increase in the order book and the benefits of an operational turnaround.

Lionel Laurant, managing director at Bayside Capital, commented: “We are very excited to back Desmet Ballestra in this crucial phase of its development. Additional fresh capital, combined with the establishment of a sounder capital structure, will enable Desmet’s first-class management team to harness the company’s unmatched capabilities as it reaps the benefits from a growing order book.”

Bayside Capital, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, is an investment firm with more than EUR3.3 billion under management. Focused on middle-market companies, Bayside Capital invests across several segments of the primary and secondary debt capital markets with an emphasis on long-term returns.