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PAI closes €2.1bn sale of engineering giant SPIE

31 Aug 2011

European private equity firm PAI Partners has exited its stake in engineering company SPIE for €2.1bn.

PAI initially acquired SPIE from AMEC for an equity value of approximately €1.04bn in 2006. The deal, which was first announced in May, represents a five times return on investment once refinancing is taken into account.

The company, which provides electrical and mechanical engineering and HVAC services as well as energy and communication systems, will be acquired by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and its partners AXA Private Equity and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

SPIE operates in nearly 400 locations in 31 countries and has nearly 30,000 employees. It boasted an operating profit of €192.3m last year, on a turnover of €3.75 bn.

“We are extremely pleased to have been able to contribute to the transformation of SPIE into a leading European player in its sector,” said Olivier de Vregille, a partner at PAI.

“Indeed since PAI’s acquisition, SPIE has been transformed, growing sales from €2.7bn to €3.8bn, employees from 23,000 to 29,000 and more than doubling its EBITDA.

“Under PAI’s ownership, SPIE notably completed more than 50 add-on acquisitions and significantly increased its strategic position, both from a geographic standpoint (eg, entry into the UK, development in the Benelux) and in terms of business mix (eg, development into energy efficiency, broadband networks),” he added.

Last month, the firm completed the sale of UK autoparts dealer Kwik Fit to Japanese industrial conglomerate Itochu.

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