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3i agrees LBO on Selective Beauty with its management

3i, Europe's leading private equity company, announces it has signed an agreement to back the management of Selective Beauty, the international perfumes and cosmetics licence and distributor.

The company''s founders, Corrado Brondi, and Christophe Cervasel, alongside management, will retain 55% of the capital.  3i will acquire 45% of the capital, and Wisequity, Investitori Associati and Eurosmallcap will realise the whole of their investment.

Selective Beauty was created in 2000 by Corrado Brondi and Christophe Cervasel, formerly of the LVMH Group, and today is one of the leading independent players in this fast growing sector. Selective Beauty offers its customers a wide spectrum of services from distribution to fully licensed development of perfumes and cosmetics .

Thanks to the experience and the professionalism of its marketing and sales teams, Selective Beauty has quickly become the European leader in the distribution of selective brands and it counts major brands amongst its clients; including, Burberry, Lolita Lempicka, Bulgari and Elizabeth Arden. Selective Beauty also develops and distributes numerous brands under worldwide licences such as Agent Provocateur, Benetton, Max Mara, Trussardi, Sonia Rykiel.

The company has nine distribution subsidies today in the world''s main markets, and completes its global coverage with a network of third-party distributors.  Selective Beauty employs 450 people and and plan to realise a turnover of over € 140 million in 2006.  The company has grown at a rate of 50% a year since its inception.

Selective Beauty''s enterprise value is around € 170 million. The transaction, in which 3i is investing €50 million, will include senior debt of € 25 million, underwritten by BNPP, Fortis and Banca Intesa and a mezzanine debt of € 30 million underwritten by Euromezzanine. Finally, credit lines have already been set up to provide financing for the company''s growth.

3i''s sector approach and a longstanding relationship with the management paved the way for this successful transaction.  3i intends to support the company in its growth strategy, by offering the benefit of its experience in the distribution sector and its worldwide network.

Frédéric Jannin, a 3i Director said: ''From the outset, Selective Beauty had the essence of a good deal. The company''s growth prospects are extremely attractive and 3i enthusiastically decided to support the plan to expand the company.  The potential of the brands in Selective Beauty''s portfolio combined with the talent of its teams leaves us in no doubt about the company''s capacity to continue to take market share whilst improving its profitability.''

Corrado Brondi, Chairman of Selective Beauty added : ''After six years of very strong growth - made possible by the trust of our initial financial partners, we now wish to begin the second stage of our Group''s development by drawing on 3i''s international strength.  Our target in the future is to: maximise the potential of our brands, develop our client partnerships, acquire new contracts for high potential brands and reinforce our structures''.

The transaction is subject to competition clearance.

Participants :
3i: Frédéric Jannin, Xavier de Prévoisin, Charles Dubar
Selective Beauty: Corrado Brondi, Christophe Cervasel

Senior debt:
- BNPP: Isabelle Guillaumet, Guillaume Redaud
- Fortis: Laurent Bonnin, Victoire Costa de Beauregard
- Banca Intesa: Antonio Severino

Mezzanine debt
- Euromezzanine: Marie-Cecile Matar, Ajit Jayaratnam

3i Advisers 
Financial Adviser: UBS (Anne Bordenave-Gassèdat, Vincent Ayme)
Legal and tax adviser : Weil, Gotshal & Manges (David Aknin, Jean Beauchataud, Stephane Chaouat, Cassandre Porges)
Financial due diligences : Ernst & Young  (Eric Demuyt, Stéphane Roubi)
Legal and Social due diligences : Ernst & Young  (Virginie Lefebvre, Caroline Dirat)
Tax Due Diligence : Ernst & Young (Regis Houriez)
Supply Chain Due Diligences  : Y''Knot (Marc Baulier)
Insurance Due Diligences : AON (Marc Delzenne, Stéphanie Dufour)
Strategic Due Diligences : Roland Berger (Laurent Dussolier, Francois Chassing)

Management Advisers 
Legal counsel: SCP Philippe Clément (Philippe Clément), Jean-Claude Bignon (Nomos)

Lenders Advisers
Legal counsel senior debt: Gide Loyrette Nouel (Eric Cartier-Million)
Legal counsel mezzanine debt :  Latham & Watkins (Xavier Farde)

Notes to editors

About 3i - 
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on buyouts, growth capital and venture capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  The 3i group invested € 1.6 billion during the fiscal year closed to March 31 2006 : € 674 million in buyouts, € 713 million in growth capital and € 224 million in venture capital.

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