London & Paris, June 13th, 2005 - Bryan, Garnier & Co (www.bryangarnier.com), the European investment bank for growth companies, announced today the closing of a EUR31 million capital raising of Common Stock for Carrere Group (Euronext: CAR), through one of the largest PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) of the year on the Euronext. The capital increase which consist in issuing 2.000.000 common shares at EUR 15,50 per share was announced and filed at the French AMF on May 13, 2005 and was approved by Carrere General Meeting of Shareholders this Monday June 13, 2005.
This private placement of public equity was led by Bryan, Garnier & Co Ltd acting as Sole Manager of the transaction, and was subscribed by a group of international, accredited institutional investors including IDE, Federal Finance, Schroders, Gartmore, Threadneedle, Pascal Investment Advisors, Richelieu Finance, Dynamic Smartcap, Banco BPI, Jupiter Asset Management, Fidelity, Dexia , Jefferies and Banque de Neuflize. Carrere Group will use the new funds for acquisitions in the sector of TV shows production, according to its strategy announced earlier this year.
Following the announcement, Olivier Garnier, Managing Director of Bryan, Garnier & Co stated: “Carrere Group has been considered as a very attractive investment opportunity by a number of leading investors in the sector. The company delivers a continuous growth since its IPO, but the institutional investors had a limited knowledge of its fundamentals. Carrere Group now has not only significant resources to execute its development strategy, but also a capital structure which should improve significantly the market for its stock.”
This capital raising follows a secondary private placement of 21 Centrale Partner’s 20% stake in Carrere Group in October 2004, for which Bryan Garnier & Co acted as exclusive advisor to the seller. At that time, the company’s stock had a low free float of 24%, limited liquidity, no research coverage and a limited exposure to the institutional investor community. These issues, on top of the specifics of the media sector, and the rapid evolution of the company explains why institutional investors had a limited knowledge of the company which was below their radar screens. As a consequence and in spite of recurring impressive operating results, Carrere Group’s stock was trading significantly below its peer group.
As a result of the current capital raising, free float increases from less than 25% in September 2004 to over 60%. During this period, Carrere Group’s stock experienced an increase in its average daily trading volume of more than 400% (3 months average), while in the meantime, its price increased by 50%, closing on Monday 13th at EUR 19,00 per share.
According to Greg Revenu, Managing Director, and head of Corporate Finance, “A PIPE transaction can be an appropriate offering structure for micro and small capitalisations that have a history of limited liquidity and research coverage when looking for long term investors. According to the situation of the company, deal structures can be tailored with the appropriate categories of investors, from venture capitalists to sector specialised long only investors. Our strong experience in both private placement and public equity capital market deals gives us a unique ability to advise our client on the best route to follow to ensure a successful completion.“
Claude Carrere, founder and Chairman of the company stated “This capital raising is a major achievement, which provides our company with significant resources to accelerate its development. Bryan, Garnier & Co brought us a in depth expertise in the European equity capital markets and gave us access to an international base of first tier growth investors. During the whole process, we have benefited from a continuous attention and the strong direct commitment of Bryan Garnier’s senior Partners”.
About Carrere Group
Founded in 1994 by Claude Carrere, one of the most successful French media entrepreneurs, and listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 2001, Carrere Group is a leading, independent French audiovisual group with close to € 100 million of revenues for 2004 with , which has successfully grown internally and through acquisitions in different segments including the production of animation series and animated feature films, of TV series and movies and of TV shows, magazines and documentaries.
About Bryan, Garnier & Co
Bryan, Garnier & Co is an independent pan-European research driven investment bank focusing on Technology-Media-Telecom, Helathcare, Business Services and Specialty Retail. Bryan, Garnier & Co offers institutional sales and trading, asset management and corporate finance services to growth oriented investors and companies. With operations in London, Paris and Geneva, Bryan, Garnier & Co offers the expertise of a full-fledged investment bank with the personalized attention and long-term client relationships of a boutique investment bank.
Bryan Garnier Corporate Finance group advises European public and private growth companies, entrepreneurs and investors through capital raising and mergers & acquisitions.