High profile IPO for Lucas Bols

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Lucas Bols is the oldest distilled spirit brand in the world, with a unique heritage dating back to 1575, when the company was founded in Amsterdam. Bols historically produces liqueurs and Genevers, and has in the last 10 years converted to a global cocktail company with market leading positions in the liqueur ranges segment worldwide excluding the US, and Genever segment globally. In addition, Bols is a leader in the international bartending community with market or category-leading positions in various geographies. Lucas Bols reported EUR 78.7 million in revenues and operating profit of EUR 22 million in its financial year to 31st of March 2014. No less than 80% of the company’s annual sales are generated outside the Netherlands, mainly in out-of-home market segments in 110 countries.

Lucas Bols was publicly listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange in 1954 In 2000 it was acquired by French group Remy Cointreau. In 2006, current Lucas Bols management team, headed by Huub van Doorne and Joost de Vries, led a successful buy-out with backing from private equity partner AAC Capital.

Early January 2015, the 440-year-old company unveiled plans to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Euronext Amsterdam. As a result of widespread interest in the IPO from both institutional and private investors, Lucas Bols was successfully floated on the 4th of February. “We see the intended IPO as a logical next step in the development of our company,” said Lucas Bols CEO Huub van Doorne in January. “After our buy-out in 2006, we have developed strong market positions in Western Europe and North America and a significant presence in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets. Our current main shareholder AAC Capital has supported us in our strategy to focus on brand building and innovation. The company is now fully prepared for a standalone future with an enhanced capital markets profile to support our international growth strategy. We look forward to this next step in our development.”

NIBC role
NIBC has a long-standing client relationship with Lucas Bols, dating back to 2006 with the financing of the company’s buy-out from Remy Cointreau. Several successful financing and interest hedge transactions by NIBC Leveraged Finance in the years thereafter further cemented the relationship. Thanks to this strong relationship and AAC Capital’s previous experience with key NIBC bankers, Lucas Bols and AAC Capital approached NIBC for independent financial advice and a refinancing around its IPO.

As a result, NIBC successfully advised the oldest Dutch spirits company on its IPO on Euronext Amsterdam. Prior to the IPO, NIBC Capitalisation Advisory provided the Dutch company with an in-depth strategic review and advice on optimal capitalisation alternatives. NIBC’s M&A team together with special adviser Menno de Jager, previously joint Chief Executive of ABN AMRO Rothschild, acted as independent advisor to Lucas Bols and its shareholders on the entire IPO process. NIBC’s Food, Agri & Retail team, together with another bank, arranged the senior secured EUR 80m post IPO refinancing package.

Lucas Bols’ IPO was a great success, with a well oversubscribed offer book and an opening price of EUR 16.52 per share, representing a 5% increase on the offer price of EUR 15.75 per share. The offer price, which was in the middle of the envisaged offer price range, reflected a market capitalisation of EUR 196m. Approximately 20% of the offering was allocated to retail investors in the Netherlands.

The ‘triple-success’ of the three NIBC teams around this transaction once again demonstrates NIBC’s ability to provide tailor-made solutions swiftly and at decisive moments.

For further information on these transactions, please contact Annemiek Hofland at M&A, Bas van Benten at Capitalisation Advisory, or Hein Godschalx and Peter de Vries at Food, Agri & Retail.

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