Europe Virgin Fund Acquires Controlling Stake in Ukraine’s Leading Hygiene Products Manufacturer (TM ‘Ruta’)
Kyiv, July 6, 2011 — Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a private equity fund sponsored by Dragon Capital, has acquired a majority stake in Tissico Limited, a Cyprus-based holding company for VGP, Ukraine’s leading manufacturer of hygiene products.
VGP is a major producer of toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and hankies located in Lutsk, western Ukraine. The company has approximately 20% market share of tissue paper products in Ukraine, enjoys strong market positions in Belarus and Moldova and is present in most other CIS markets. VGP’s primary brand ‘Ruta’ sells in nearly all large national and international retail chains, in numerous smaller format stores as well as other sales channels across Ukraine. The company also works extensively with leading retailers under private label arrangements.
This investment has been made by means of a share capital increase in Tissico Limited, providing the group with fresh capital to be used for expanding VGP’s production capacities and strengthening the company’s market position in both domestic and export markets. Illia Miretskyi, previously majority owner of VGP, has retained a significant minority shareholding in the group and shall continue managing VGP as Chief Executive Officer.
“We are happy to announce the investment in Ruta as EVF’s first transaction as it perfectly meets our investment strategy. The company’s management team led by Illia Miretskyi has done a tremendous job in establishing Ruta as a leading brand in the market. I am sure the team and the company will do even better with our capital and support" - said Kamil Goca, Managing Director, Private Equity, Dragon Capital.
“In order to accomplish ambitious goals one needs not only the necessary capital, but also the right partner. I trust that with EVF’s investment and the support of its sponsor, Dragon Capital, Ruta is entering a new phase of expansion. This investment makes us stronger and I am looking forward to intensified cooperation with our business partners and delivering even better products and services to our customers” - said Illia Miretskyi, CEO, VGP.
VGP (www.ruta.ua) is Ukraine’s leading manufacturer of hygiene products such as toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and hankies. The company’s product portfolio is produced exclusively from natural, environmentally friendly virgin pulp, using high-tech equipment in accordance with generally accepted international standards. Having started the tissue paper products operations in 1999, VGP today accounts for about 20% of the Ukrainian market and successfully exports to Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
About Europe Virgin Fund
Europe Virgin Fund is a regional private equity fund sponsored by Dragon Capital with target size of $150 million. The Fund will provide equity financing to up to a dozen private sector businesses with primary operations in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, in particular focusing on the fast-moving consumer goods, retail, industrial, telecom, media, technology, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and financial services sectors.
Europe Virgin Fund raised $45 million at its first closing in August 2010, having received commitments from Dragon Capital, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets and other limited partners.
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