3i and Electra sell Tensar stakes

3i and Electra Private Equity have realised their investment in Tensar International, a UK civil engineering company, after 12 years as minority shareholders in a deal worth £68m to Tensar Corp, a US-based company. Arcapita, a Bahrain-headquartered investment group, which acquired the business in October 2005 for US$405m from KRG Capital, owns the Tensar Corp.

Tensar International makes geogrids, which are used in soil reinforcement and ground stablisation. The Tensar Corp manufactures Tensar geogrids in the US under licence to the Tensar Group and markets these in North and South America. The Tensar Group manufactures Tensar products in the UK and China, supplying most other parts of the globe.

3i invested in Tensar International in 1994 when it backed an MBO, investing £7.2m alongside Electra Private Equity, then known as Electra Investment Trust. 3i has made £22m from the exit, a 3x return on its original investment.