Candover Recaps Qioptiq

Candover has recapitalized Qioptiq Group, a France-based maker of high-precision optical solutions for the defense, medical and industrial markets. No financial terms were disclosed, except that European Capital and American Capital invested a combined $85 million on the mezzanine tranche.



European Capital Limited (LSE: ECAS) (“European Capital”), announced today that it has invested US$57 million in the Qioptiq Group, a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of high-precision optical solutions for the defence, medical and industrial markets. The investment was led by the Paris office of European Capital Financial Services Limited (“European Capital Services”) and supports Candover's recapitalisation of Qioptiq. European Capital invested mezzanine debt in Qioptiq, which was arranged and underwritten by The Royal Bank of Scotland and Unicredit. In addition to the US$57 million investment by European Capital, its affiliate American Capital Strategies, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) (“American Capital”) invested US$28 million in the transaction.

“European Capital successfully teamed up with American Capital to provide this dollar denominated investment,” said Ira Wagner, President of European Capital Services. “The ability to fund in Euros, Pounds Sterling and Dollars is another one of European Capital's many competitive advantages.”

“We are excited to partner with Candover, a leading private equity fund in Europe,” said Jean Eichenlaub, Regional Managing Director Southern Europe of European Capital Services. “Qioptiq is recognised as a worldwide technology and quality leader in the high-precision optics market. Its exceptional management team has demonstrated its ability to achieve outstanding growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

European Capital has invested over euro 1.6 billion (US$2.5 billion) in the last twelve months, euro 301 million (US$466 million) year to date and euro 133 million (US$205 million) quarter to date. European Capital has assisted in the refinance or syndication of euro 296 million (US$462 million) of senior debt for its portfolio companies in the last twelve months, euro 604 million (US$943 million) inception to date and raised over euro 520 million (US$802 million) in capital and realised euro 115 million (US$177 million) from investments. For more information about European Capital's portfolio, go to

Qioptiq enjoys a superlative reputation for quality and extremely strong customer loyalty in a sector with very high barriers to entry,” said Tristan Parisot, Director, European Capital Services. “Qioptiq is poised for sustained and accelerated growth driven by the continual need for higher-precision optical solutions in the defence, biomedical and industrial instrumentation markets and by the identification of promising acquisition opportunities.”

Qioptiq's strong research and development capabilities, its highly qualified and loyal staff and its state of the art production facilities enable it to respond quickly and efficiently to the unique needs of its customers around the world,” said Guillaume Peroz, Manager, European Capital Services. “Qioptiq has successfully established commanding market positions and commercial presences in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.”

Founded in 2005 as a spin-off of the high-tech optics division of Thales, Qioptiq is a world leading developer of high precision optical systems. Supported by Candover, Qioptiq expanded its geographical reach and product offering through the acquisition of Linos in 2006, a leading German manufacturer of high precision optics for the European medical and industrial markets, and of Pointsource in 2008, a leading UK-based producer of fiber optic laser solutions used in biomedical and commercial applications. The Company has operations in Europe, Asia and the U.S. and employs over 2,400 people worldwide. Qioptiq's products are used in a broad array of industries including defence, biomedical and industrial solutions. The Company achieved 2007 revenues in excess of US$350 million, proforma of the acquisition of Pointsource, completed in 2008.

“We highly value European Capital's strong commitment to Qioptiq and its confidence in our vision and strategy for the Company,” said Benoit Bazire, CEO, Qioptiq. “We look forward to working together on the future development of Qioptiq with Candover and European Capital.”

“European Capital has proven itself a dependable and speedy partner,” said Cyril Zaire, Director, Candover. “We hope to strengthen our relationship with the dedicated team at European Capital as we work together to grow Qioptiq and in support of future opportunities.”


European Capital is a publicly traded investment company for pan-European equity, mezzanine and senior debt investments with current capital resources of approximately euro 2.8 billion (US$4.4 billion). It is managed by European Capital Financial Services (Guernsey) Limited (“ECFSG”), an indirect wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital Strategies Ltd. ECFSG, together with its wholly owned subsidiary European Capital Financial Services Ltd (“ECFS”), is referred to as the “Investment Manager”. ECFS has offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt and Madrid. As of 31 March 2008 the Investment Manager had 44 investment professionals and 66 support staff.

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 primarily 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 recapitalisations.

The investment objective of European Capital is to provide investors with dividend income and the potential for share value appreciation by investing in debt and equity investments in private and public companies headquartered primarily in Europe.

European Capital seeks to achieve this through pursuing the following types of investments:

European Capital One Stop Buyouts(TM)

Through our One Stop Buyouts(TM), European Capital provides equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt as the lead investor in the buyout of private and public companies.

Mezzanine Direct with Sponsors

European Capital provides debt and equity financing for buyouts sponsored by private equity firms where European Capital is either the sole or lead mezzanine debt investor.

Syndicated Mezzanine and Senior Debt

European Capital provides mezzanine and senior financing for buyouts sponsored by private equity firms where European Capital is neither the sole nor lead mezzanine or senior debt investor.

Direct Investments

European Capital provides debt and equity financing directly to private and public companies, which is used for growth, acquisitions or recapitalisations, and investing in structured finance vehicles.

Companies interested in learning more about European Capital's flexible financing should contact Nathalie Faure Beaulieu at +44-(0)20-7539-7000 in London, Jean Eichenlaub at +33-(0)1-40-68-06-66 in Paris, Robert von Finckenstein at +49-(0)-69-71-71-297-0 in Frankfurt, or Luis Felipe Castellanos at +(34)-91-423-27-60 in Madrid, or visit the website at


American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) is the only private equity fund and alternative asset management company that is a member of the S&P 500. With US$19 billion in capital resources under management, American Capital is the largest U.S. publicly traded alternative asset manager.

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, recapitalisations and securitisations. 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.


Candover is a leading private equity investment group in Europe. Since 1980, Candover has invested in 135 buyouts totaling euro 42 billion. With offices in London, Madrid, Milan and Paris, Candover has invested in eleven European countries. Over the last two years, European Capital's London office supported Candover's acquisitions of Ferretti, Capital Safety and Hilding Anders.

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.

Web site: http://www.americancapital.com