Investcorp and Bahrain International Bank announce new deals

25 April 1997

Manama-based Investcorp says it is buying 70 per cent of Norwegian sportswear and all-weather clothing firm Helly Hansen from current owners Aker RGI and Orkla, both also of Norway. Bahrain International Bank (BIB), also Manama-based, says it is selling part of its holding in a US burger restaurant franchise as part of a recapitalisation of the company.

Investcorp says Helly Hansen is valued at about $160 million under the deal, which is expected to be completed next month. Aker RGI says it will sell its 50 per cent stake in Helly Hansen to Investcorp for NKr 430 million ($61.6 million). Investcorp will also buy 20 per cent of Orkla's holding in Helly Hansen, reducing the latter's interest to 30 per cent.

The Helly Hansen deal is Investcorp's second major purchase this year - the bank bought the UK's Welcome Break chain of motorway service stations for $758 million in February (MEED 28:2:97). The bank has declined to comment on a report in the UK press that it intends to finance the purchase of Welcome Break through a bond issue backed by the UK company's cashflow and assets, with the advice of Bankers Trust and a credit rating from Duff & Phelps.

BIB, which has a similar Gulf Arab clientele to Investcorp, says it has sold part of its stake in Carrolls Corporation, which operates Burger King restaurant franchises in the US. Madison Dearborn Partners, a US private equity firm, has put up $60 million in new equity for Carrolls of which half was used to acquire a stake from BIB. The bank, which has owned all of Carrolls since April 1996, now owns about half the company's capital of $120 million. After the recapitalisation, Carrolls bought 25 more Burger King restaurants in the southern US for $22 million, bringing its total to 263.

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