19th November 2009 - Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that it has acquired from the Soravia Group of Austria and certain individual shareholders approximately 79% of the shares of Devin AD (“Devin”), Bulgaria’s leading mineral water bottler and distributor of soft drinks, at a price of BGN 3.06 per share. This transaction values Devin at a total Enterprise Value of Eur 40 million. The top management team of Devin will retain their stake of 6.7% of the shares in Devin.
In line with local regulations, Advent will launch a takeover bid for the remaining shares of Devin traded on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.
The company, based in the town of Devin in south west Bulgaria, was founded in 1992 and has consistently grown to reach the number one position in the Bulgarian bottled water market with its leading Devin® mineral and spring water brands. Over the past two years, the company has also established distribution agreements in Bulgaria for Red Bull® and the premium juice brand Granini®, launched the first flavoured water locally and expanded into the Romanian market.
Devin has a strong management team, which has driven its impressive growth over the last few years. The team will be supported by Advent International Operating Partner Matthew Litobarski, former President of Cadbury Schweppes Europe, who will join as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Devin.
Commenting on the agreement, Devin’s CEO Tzvetan Lazhanski said: “Advent has a long track record of supporting companies in this region in their growth and we are delighted to have them as investors and partners in our next stage of development.”
Chris Mruck, Advent Managing Partner who will join the Devin Board as a non-executive Director, commented: “Devin is a successful company with considerable potential, operating in an attractive sector. The company has built a strong position on the local market and established a presence in Romania. We believe that the company and its management team provide an excellent platform for further growth, and are delighted to be able to support this.”
Albena Vassileva, Advent Director who managed the deal’s execution and will also join the Devin Board as a non-executive Director, added: “The acquisition of Devin confirms Advent’s interest in and strong position on the south-east European markets. We believe that the blend of international best practice, significant resources and local expertise that Advent offers will be a valuable contribution to Devin’s future.”
Advent International has been investing across Central Europe with local funds and offices since 1994. The firm has financed and supported a number of companies in the food and drink sector globally to achieve successful growth, including Brewery Holdings in Romania, Star Foods in Poland, Uno in Turkey and Graffigna in Argentina.
Advent’s team on the Devin transaction includes Chris Mruck, Albena Vassileva, Michal Aron, Milan Kulich and Burcu Gobuluk.
Advent’s advisers on the transaction include A.T. Kearney (commercial and operational), Corporate Finance Partners (corporate finance), CMS Cameron McKenna (legal), PricewaterhouseCoopers (financial & tax) and Elana (brokerage). The Soravia Group was advised by Borislav Boyanov & Co (legal).
About the Soravia Group
Soravia Group AG is an Austrian company operating in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe with many years’ experience in the real estate development and investment sectors. Its many and varied projects, either already realised or currently in development, range from multipurpose building complexes, hotels and innovative business start-ups such as Megaboard outdoor advertising, to successful acquisitions such as the auction house Dorotheum.