IK sells Groupe Etanco to 3i for €370m


European buy-out firm IK Investment Partners has agreed to sell its stake in French building company Groupe Etanco to 3i, the London-based private equity group, for an enterprise value of €370m.

The secondary divestment, which was agreed at the end of last month, will net IK a two times return on investment since its initial purchase. The deal was financed through a share purchase agreement in March 2008 from the Lebraut family, in partnership with CEO Ronan Lebraut and members of the founding family and management.

Etanco designs, manufactures and distributes building fastener and fixing systems in France. The group is also present in Italy with its Friulsider brand and in Eastern Europe. Based outside of Paris, the company employs around 600 staff and generated revenues of around €144m at the time of the acquisition.

Since the acquisition three years ago, IK has helped the company outperform the market year-on-year, following a recruitment drive and an aggressive expansion scheme which led to a 13.7 per cent increase in revenues last year.

“The investment decision was made in the challenging market of 2008,” said Christopher Masek, a managing partner at IK.

“Our strong understanding of the company’s dynamics as well as the extremely high potential and quality of the management team enabled us to make the right investment decision. Under the mandate of IK and the management of Ronan Lebraut, the Group significantly outperformed the market every year confirming the resilience, the growth potential of the company and the validity of its business model.

“This is a classic investment for us and demonstrates our approach to working with a family business by improving its foundations and transforming it into a solid national leader with the potential for further growth,” he added.

Remi Carnimolla, a partner at 3i, said, “We have known Etanco, Ronan Lebraut and his team for over three years. We are pleased to be working in partnership with them to deliver our common ambition of internationalising the group to transform it into a pan-European champion. 3i has extensive experience and a strong track record in helping leading companies expand across geographies and we are well placed to support Etanco’s international expansion strategy.”

The deal marks IK’s third transaction in as many weeks. Last week, the firm also agreed to exit its stake in Idex, France’s largest independent energy and environmental services company.

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