3i scores 2.3x return selling vehicle parts maker in £384m deal


Hilite InternationalUK-headquartered private equity house 3i has made a 2.3-times return selling vehicle engine and transmission maker Hilite International in a £384m deal.

3i said it would receive proceeds of £155m from the sale, a 32 per cent uplift on a value of £117m at the turn of the year and up 17 per cent on the £133m value at the end of March this year.

AVIC Electromechanical Systems, a subsidiary of giant Chinese industrial conglomerate Aviation Industry Corporation of China, bought the business.

3i invested £172m in Hilite in 2011 in an all-equity deal, before refocusing the company’s strategy towards its core business of highly-engineered products.

The firm also helped Hilite expand into China, pushing it from very limited exposure to a contribution of more than 15 per cent of sales in 2014.

Ulf von Haacke, 3i managing director, said, “We identified Hilite’s potential long before we invested in the company in 2011 as it offered highly differentiated technology in the industry’s fastest growing subsector – components for fuel efficiency and emissions reduction.

“Over the last three years, we have supported the management of Hilite in refocusing the company, fostering its technological leadership and expanding its geographic reach through 3i’s international network to drive sustainable, above-market and profitable growth.”

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