Baccarat launches sale process with BDA and Messier & Associés — sources

Breaking News 14 April

Baccarat launches sale process with BDA and Messier & Associés — sources

Baccarat, a France-based luxury crystal-maker, has launched a sale with BDA Partners and France-based boutique firm Messier & Associés co-advising on the process, said three sources familiar with the matter.

Teasers have been sent to potential buyers, and first-round bids are expected in May, said two of the sources.   

A company like Baccarat could sell for between 12x and 15x EBITDA, two of the sources said.    

The global luxury brand generates EBITDA of around EUR 30m to EUR 35m with annual revenues of around EUR 200m, they said. According to a French registry document, Baccarat posted EBITDA of EUR 25m and EUR 127m of revenue in 2021.   

Depending on bids, Baccarat could pursue a full sale or sell a minority stake, said the first source. Selling a growing asset in a down market is not ideal but its owners are looking for some liquidity, he noted.   

The 200-year-old brand has been owned by Hong Kong-based Tor Investment Management and Sammasan Capital since 2020 when the Asian credit funds delisted it from the Paris Stock Exchange. Its previous owner, now-defunct Chinese firm Fortune Fountain Capital, defaulted on its loan and engaged in a debt-for-equity swap.  

A mixture of sponsors, corporate luxury groups, and family offices in Asia, Europe, and the US are looking at the asset, the first source said.  

Buyers around the world have been anticipating Baccarat’s return to market since its Asian creditors took ownership in 2020, the source said. The company has been focused on improving its financials before going to market, he said. 

Two of the sources praised Baccarat's new management strategy, led by CEO Margareth “Maggie” Henriquez, who was hired in April 2021. Henriquez previously served as the president and CEO of luxury French alcohol brand Krug Champagne.   

The iconic Baccarat name could be a trophy asset for any luxury-focused portfolio, said the first source.   

Buyers in Asia and the Middle East could be attracted to its high-end status, he said, noting the brand is very popular in Japan. The French government would likely prefer a French buyer, he said, noting sovereign wealth funds could also bid for the asset.   

Other players in the luxury glassware space include Waterford Crystal and Wedgwood, both owned by Finland-based Fiskars Group. Swarovski, a family-owned Austrian brand of crystal products, is another player but with more affordable price points, he noted.  

In February, an Austrian news outlet reported that Swarovski is no longer pursuing an IPO, and a takeover by Swiss luxury groups Richemont or Swatch Group was possible.  

Tor Investment Management and Sammasan Capital did not respond outside of business hours in Hong Kong. BDA Partners and Messier declined to comment. Baccarat did not respond to requests for comment.  

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