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Eurazeo reports 35% revenue growth

The French firm's consolidated revenues have surpassed €4bn for the first time. Debt levels are not a concern either at portfolio or group level, the firm has said.

French listed private equity investor Eurazeo has posted significantly increased revenues among its portfolio companies, due in the main to acquisitions made during the year.

The group reported revenues in excess of €4 billion for its consolidated portfolio companies, a 35.4 percent increase on 2007. Pro forma revenue growth – comparing like for like and discounting currency fluctuations – was 1.7 percent.

As of the end of the year, none of Eurazeo's consolidated portfolio companies were struggling with debt burdens, according to the firm. “In respect of the market’s concerns, we recall that none of our consolidated companies had a covenant problem as at December 31 2008 and none has to refinance its debt in the short-term,” said Philippe Audouin, chief financial officer, in a statement.

Station Casinos, of which Eurazeo owns a 5 percent stake and which is currently undergoing a debt restructuring following a missed interest payment, is not included among Eurazeo's consolidated businesses.

The firm also pointed out that despite “genuine resilience” showed by its portfolio companies, Eurazeo’s shares were trading below the combined market value of its listed share portfolio and cash position.

Concern over Eurazeo’s share price, which has lost more than 70 percent in the last twelve months, intensified when the stock price dropped 19 percent in one day in September. Eurazeo suspected the dramatic fall was due to the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers and asked the French regulatory authorities to investigate.

Among the more problematic investments in Eurazeo’s portfolio are French hotel group Accor, into which the firm injected a €200 million “temporary interest-bearing collateral contribution” in the fourth quarter of 2008, and multinational food producer Danone, which received a €100 million injection.

Eurazeo has a “solid cash position” with over €300 million in cash, €300 million in liquid share holdings, a €1 billion syndicated credit line and no structural debt, said the firm.