European Capital S.A. SICAR

European Capital Invests Euro 15.5 Million In Add-On Acquisition For Portfolio Company The Spotless Group

    Paris (ots/PRNewswire) -

    European Capital S.A. SICAR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of European Capital Limited ("European Capital") (LSE: ECAS), announced today that it has made an additional euro 15.5 million (US$21 million) investment in its portfolio company, the Spotless Group, to support its acquisition of Eparcyl, the leading French provider of branded biological activators for septic tanks. European Capital's investment takes the form of mezzanine bonds and equity. European Capital is co-investing alongside AXA Private Equity, the majority owner of the Spotless Group, and the Spotless Group's management team.

    "We are pleased to again be investing in our portfolio company, the Spotless Group, to support its continued growth through the acquisition of Eparcyl," said Ira Wagner, President of European Capital Financial Services Limited, ("European Capital Services"), the sub-investment manager of European Capital. "This is our fourth transaction in 18 months with AXA Private Equity involving the Spotless Group and it exemplifies the long term commitment we customarily make to our portfolio companies and private equity partners. European Capital's total investments in the Spotless Group amount to euro 95 million to date."

    European Capital has invested approximately euro 1.8 billion (US$2.4 billion) in the last twelve months, euro 968 million (US$1.3 billion) year to date and euro 703 million (US$958 million) in the second quarter. For more information about European Capital's portfolio, go to http://www.ecas.com/our_portfolio/portfolio.html

    "Eparcyl is the leading French provider of branded biological activators for septic tanks whose growth is driven by rising consumer awareness as a result of new regulation and industry advertising," said Jean Eichenlaub, European Capital Managing Director. "Like Eau Ecarlate, the Company's principal customers are all the major French supermarket chains, creating compelling marketing synergies."

    "Eparcyl is a household name in a market where brand loyalty is paramount, ensuring continued strong cash flows," said Stephane Legrand, European Capital Director. "Eparcyl also anticipates accelerated growth arising from reinvigorated marketing efforts."

    Launched in 1970 with the acquisition of a preexisting company, Eparcyl is the leading provider of branded biological activators for septic tanks in France. Eparcyl sells several categories of activators, toilet gel and other related products.

    European Capital originally invested in Eau Ecarlate in November 2005, supporting AXA Private Equity's buyout of the Company to create a platform for a pan European group of top household care brands, the "Spotless Group." Eau Ecarlate is the leading supplier of branded fabric care products to the French retail market. The Eau Ecarlate brand was established more than 150 years ago and is widely recognized as the leading laundry aid brand in France. European Capital has also supported Eau Ecarlate's add-on acquisitions of the Household Products Division of Guaber, a branded consumer products company in the Italian market and Punch Industries Group, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of fabric, shoe and home care products.

    "This third major add-on acquisition advances the disciplined, strategic growth plan of the Spotless Group and its outstanding management team," said AXA Private Equity Director, Philippe Poletti. "European Capital's long term, sustained and expert support have been indispensable in the achievement of the Spotless Group's objectives."

    For more information about European Capital's investments in the Spotless Group, go to http://www.ECAS.com/our_portfolio/companies/spotless_group.html

    ABOUT EUROPEAN CAPITAL

    European Capital is a closed-end investment company for pan-European equity, mezzanine and senior debt investments with capital resources of approximately euro 2.1 billion (US$2.9 billion). European Capital invests in and sponsors management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts and provides capital directly to private and public companies headquartered predominantly in Europe. European Capital generally invests between euro 5 million and euro 500 million per transaction in equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt to fund growth, acquisitions and recapitalizations.

    Companies interested in learning more about European Capital's flexible financing should contact Jean Eichenlaub at +33-(0)-1-40-68-06-66 in Paris, Nathalie Faure Beaulieu or Simon Henderson at +44-(0)-20-7539-7000 in London, Robert von Finckenstein at +49-(0)-69-71-71-297 0 in Frankfurt, or Luis Felipe Castellanos at +34-91-745-99-63 in Madrid, or visit the website at http://www.EuropeanCapital.com.

    ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL

    American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS), an affiliate of European Capital and a member of the S&P 500 with US$15 billion in assets under management, is the largest U.S. publicly traded private equity firm and one of the largest publicly traded alternative asset managers. American Capital, both directly and through its global asset management business, is an investor in management and employee buyouts, private equity buyouts, and early stage and mature private and public companies. American Capital provides senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and securitizations. American Capital and its affiliates invest from US$5 million to US$800 million per company in North America and euro 5 million to euro 500 million per company in Europe.

    ABOUT AXA PRIVATE EQUITY

    AXA Private Equity, a subsidiary of AXA Investment Managers, is one of the premier world investors in private equity. The company is active in all private equity activities including Buyout, expansion capital, Venture Capital, Co-Investment, Mezzanine, primary, early secondary and secondary Funds of Funds. Backed by offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan, New York and Singapore, AXA Private Equity manages over euro 11.3 billion while providing advisory services on behalf of leading European and international investors.

    This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements regarding expected results of European Capital and/or American Capital are subject to various factors and uncertainties, including the uncertainties associated with the timing of transaction closings, changes in interest rates, availability of transactions, changes in regional, national or international economic conditions, or changes in the conditions of the industries in which European Capital and/or American Capital has made investments.

@@start.t1@@      Web site: http://www.americancapital.com
                      http://www.ecas.com/our_portfolio/portfolio.html
                      http://www.ECAS.com/our_portfolio/companies/spotless_group.html
                      http://www.EuropeanCapital.com@@end@@

ots Originaltext: European Capital S.A. SICAR
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Contact:
Jean Eichenlaub, Managing Director, +33-(0)-1-40-68-06-66; Stephane
Legrand, Director, +33-(0)-1-40-68-06-66; Marie Bal, Marketing
Coordinator, +33-(0)-1-40-68-06-66; Brian Maney, Director, Corporate
Communications, +1-301-951-6122, all of European Capital Services



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