The buyout and mezzanine fund European Capital SA SICAR has announced today (8 February) that it has invested some EUR12.5m (US$16.2m) in the mezzanine and second lien facilities of French private label biscuit group Biscuits Poult.

European Capital said the senior and mezzanine facilities were arranged by the investment house BNP Paribas in support of the acquisition of Biscuits Poult by LBO France, the Paris-based private equity group.

"Biscuits Poult is the leader in the French private label biscuit market, which is the fastest growing portion of the biscuit market," said Jean Eichenlaub, European Capital's managing director. "Driven by retailers' focus on their own products and consumers' preference for lower prices but high quality, the market is decisively trending towards private label."

Founded in 1883, Biscuits Poult doubled its size with the acquisition of Panier Tanguy in 2005. Based in Toulouse, the company has four production sites and a 700-strong workforce.