FRANCE: Oaktree Capital offloads 38% stake in Belvedere
Oaktree Capital was one of Belvedere's creditors
Oaktree Capital Management has relinquished its entire stake in French drinks group Belvédère.
The US-based private equity group, which last week launched an IPO for a stake in its Stock Spirits division, has offloaded its holding via its Pilgrim subsidiary. The news was confirmed in a statement issued by France's stock market regulator, l'Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), earlier this week.
In March this year, Belvédère gained court approval for its debt restructuring plan, which saw its creditors take 87% of its capital. Current shareholders, which include actor Bruce Willis, saw their stakes reduced to a pro-rata share of the remaining 13%.
As one of Belvédère's larger creditors, Oaktree subsequently became the French company's major shareholder with a 38.09% stake.
The fund declined to comment on the pull-out, but in previous statements had made it clear that it had no intention of becoming an 'active' shareholder in Belvédère, nor of taking a hands-on role in its management.
just-drinks understands that Oaktree's stake was sold gradually over recent months to a number of investors whose identities are unknown, there being no obligation to reveal them to the AMF as none hold 5% or more of the group's capital.
Separately, at a meeting of Belvédère's shareholders, chairman & CEO Krzysztof Trylinski resigned following the composition of a new board. Trylinski will remain in his post until a new appointment is made, and has indicated that he is ready to stand as a candidate if the board agrees.
Some interesting developments have been occuring within the Vodka category since the publication of our previous global market review of the category....
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