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Alain Afflelou LBO to Be Backed by $540 Million in Debt

Lion Capital LLP plans to fund its bid for French eyeglass retailer Alain Afflelou SA with about 410 million euros ($540 million) of debt, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

The financing will include a 110 million-euro eight-year mezzanine facility that also offers warrants in Alain Afflelou, and about 300 million euros of senior debt, said the people, who declined to be identified because the deal is private.

Shona Prendergast, a spokesman in London for Lion Capital, declined to comment on details of the debt financing.

Lion Capital said on April 30 it entered into exclusive talks to buy Alain Afflelou from Bridgepoint, Apax Partners France and Altamir Amboise. Lion Capital last week offered about 800 million euros for the assets, another person with knowledge of the matter said on April 30. The buyout is set to be France’s largest private equity deal so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Citigroup Inc., UniCredit SpA and Alcentra Ltd. provided debt financing for the deal, Lion Capital said.

Bridgepoint, a buyout fund manager based in London, bought a majority stake in Alain Afflelou in 2006, when its eponymous founder sought to plan his succession. The deal valued the company at about 500 million euros.

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