By  on May 10, 2011

MILAN — London-based private equity firm BC Partners has acquired a 78.7 percent stake in Gruppo Coin SpA and bid for the remaining shares, placing the Italian retailer’s value at 930 million euros, or $1.3 billion at current exchange.

BC Partners is a private equity firm founded in 1986 with offices also in Paris, Milan, Hamburg and New York. The company said it has invested in 74 companies with total enterprise value of 68 billion euros, or $92 billion.

BC Partners agreed to pay 644.5 million euros, or $922.6 million, for a 69.3 percent majority stake owned by Paris-based PAI Partners and Fincoin and 87.8 million euros, or $125.6 million, for another 9.4 percent currently held by Gruppo Coin and its management. The private equity firm has also offered to pay 6.5 euros, or $9.30, a share for the remainder of the company.

Borletti Group, which owns Italian department store chain La Rinascente and Printemps in Paris as well as private equity funds The Carlyle Group and Clessidra SGR SpA, had all previously expressed interest though official offers were never made.

Coin is Italy’s largest clothing retailer, and has plans to reach a total of 900 stores in the next three years. Coin has been converting a number of Upim’s 135 stores, more than 2.2 million square feet of selling space, most often centrally located in top Italian cities, into Coin and OVS Industry units, and upgrading its image and product assortment. The chain is also planning to create a new luxury department store called Excelsior in the heart of Milan, which is slated to open in the fall. The group’s expansion has been spearheaded by chief executive officer Stefano Beraldo, who will stay on to run the company.

Group sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 surged 38.1 percent to 1.73 billion euros, or $2.28 billion, while net profits climbed 8.8 percent to 48.2 million euros, or $63.6 million, compared with the previous year. At the end of the third quarter last year, the board approved a three-year plan forecasting that sales on Jan. 31, 2014, will total 2.5 billion euros, or $3.4 billion, and net profits will be more than 130 million euros, or $176.4 million. Earmarked investments are expected to reach 300 million euros, or $407.2 million.

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