Duke Street, Europa streamline portfolio company

The LBO firm Duke Street Capital and private equity real estate firm Europa Capital Partners have sold five large supermarkets belonging to their 2007 joint acquisition of SandpiperCI based in Jersey.

Duke Street Capital and Europa Capital Partners have sold five large supermarkets belonging to the portfolio company CI Traders – a business that the pair took over in 2007.
Now renamed SandpiperCI, the Channel Islands retailer they own has exchanged contracts to sell the five large supermarkets to UK retail giant Waitrose for an undisclosed sum.
The move is part of a streamlining exercise of SandpiperCI that Duke Street and Europa have been pursuing. In a statement the pair said they had invested in both SandpiperCI’s large and smaller shops and had made a number of disposals including interests in pubs, soft drinks and property.

 Following the sale, SandpiperCI will remain the biggest independent retail operator in the Channel Islands, and will continue to operate its remaining 28 grocery stores under own brand and to grow its franchise businesses trading under other brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, and Costa Coffee.

It will also continue to operate Cimandis, the food service supplier, together with its two hotels in Guernsey – St Pierre Park and La Trelade, the two firms added.

The 2007 buyout of CI Traders was unusual because it was a rare example of a pure private equity firm teaming up with a real estate investment manager to take over a company. At the time of the takeover, Jersey-based CI Traders had an enterprise value of £410 million (€604 million; $832 million).