A safe exit for Electra

Based in Milton Keynes in the UK, CSG was acquired by Electra in 1998 as part of a £98.3m buyout. Since then the company has grown from a regional business into an international one, selling under two brands worldwide – DBI-Sala and Protecta.

A refinancing was undertaken in 2005 which generated €85m for Electra, which reinvested €18.6m in the equity and €8.2m in the mezzanine loan of a new holding company, Capital Safety Group II.

David Symondson, deputy managing partner at Electra Partners, said: “The key aspect of this investment is the amount of time we have held it, backing the leadership of CSG’s CEO Paul Trinder over the long term. Because of our flexible structure we have not been obliged to sell the business within a pre-determined timescale. This has enabled us to benefit from strategic decisions implemented in the early years. CSG is now of a size whereby it will benefit from a change of shareholder as it looks to consolidate its position in the personal protection equipment market.”

Brian Mercer, a Candover director, said: “CSG is a global business with a market leading position in a growing safety-critical area. We are backing a great management team who has already delivered impressive, double-digit growth, and who have ambitious plans that we are confident will lead to significant results over the next few years. The company is particularly strongly positioned in the oil and gas sector, which is an area Candover understands well via its investment in a number of market leading oil services support businesses.”

Candover backed the buyout of Vetco International, a UK headquartered supplier of drilling and production equipment for on and offshore oil and gas field, from ABB in 2004. It sold subsidiary Vetco Gray to GE Oil & Gas for €1.5bn in January this year. In April Candover saw the IPO of Wellstream, a UK designer and manufacturer of unbonded flexible pipeline systems used by the offshore oil and gas industry.