July 28, 2014

Independent private investment company Ardian acquires Europe’s leading manufacturer of high quality hotel cosmetics from the Carlyle Group.

On July 24, Willkie client Ardian, a leading independent private investment company, announced that it has agreed to acquire ADA Cosmetics International GmbH from the Carlyle Group.  ADA Cosmetics is Europe’s leading manufacturer of high-quality hotel cosmetics.

This is the eighth investment from Ardian’s Expansion Fund III, which closed in March 2014 at €500 million. The management of ADA Cosmetics has again taken a minority stake in the company as part of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. Working with Ardian, the management intends to grow the company across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Founded in Kehl, Germany in 1979, ADA Cosmetics’ customer base is largely three to five star hotel chains, as well as airlines and cruise ships. With around 300 employees and seven subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East as well as a global distribution network, ADA supplies nearly 15,000 customers in more than 50 countries. Ardian, with assets of $47 billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia, is majority-owned by its employees. In May, Willkie represented Ardian in its acquisition of German toy manufacturer Schleich from European private equity investor HgCapital.

The Willkie team on the current deal was led by partners Mario Schmidt (corporate/private equity) and Jan Wilms (finance) and included national partners Rolf Hünermann (compliance/antitrust) and Dr. Christian Rolf (HR), and associates Dr. Maximilian Schwab (corporate/private equity), Mario Bammann (finance), Dr. Jan Claudio Munoz (corporate/private equity), Jochen Riechwald (HR) and Daniel Zakrzewski (corporate/private equity).