PAI Partners to buy IPH group from Investcorp


Parisian buyout house PAI Partners has agreed to buy IPH group, a French company that specialises in the European distribution of industrial supplies, from Bahrain-based private equity firm Investcorp.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, previous reports said the company was expected to fetch about €500m.

IPH was created in 1987 and today distributes a large range of industrial supply products, and was bought out by Investcorp in 2006.

The business is represented in Europe by national networks including Orexad in Germany, Anfidis in France, Zitec in Germany, Biesheuvel Techniek in the Netherlands, D’Hont in Belgium, and Novotech in Romania.

IPH president Pierre Pouletty said the company has tripled its turnover in six years thanks to a number of acquisitions supported by the current shareholders.

“Over the last few years, IPH has built up a strong position in B2B technical distribution,” PAI partner Nicolas Holzman said in a statement.

“The business services sector is a core area of expertise for PAI and we look forward to supporting IPH in its growth and development in France and in Europe through acquisitions as we did with SPIE and Kiloutou, two of our other investments, and to reinforce the group’s leadership in its industry.”

The deal follows PAI’s recent acquisition of a 78 per cent stake in Italian eyewear manufacturer Marcolin, which it bought in October from the founding Marcolin family, the Della Valle brothers and Antonio Abete for €207m.

The French firm is currently in the market with its sixth fund, which recently launched and is looking to secure commitments of €3bn.

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