Bain pledges social guarantees

France-based nuclear group Areva has approved the €1.067bn purchase of its FCI division by private equity firm Bain Capital. The supervisory board approved the sale on September 19.

Areva said that Bain’s bid was the best offer after a competitive process on financial, industrial and social grounds. Bain, with the support of FCI’s management, will implement an ambitious development strategy, Areva said. The firm beat One Equity Partners and KKR in the final round of bidding.

Bain also agreed to continue social policies, maintain the location of FCI headquarters in Versailles and the preservation of Communication Data Consumer division industrial sites in Europe as well as industrial sites in France for at least three years.

The disposal of FCI should have a positive impact of about €500m on Areva group’s 2005 consolidated net income and generate a positive cashflow of about €850m.

FCI designs and manufactures interconnect systems for the automotive, communication, data and consumer markets. Its revenues amounted to €1.3bn in 2004.

Bain has more than €20bn in capital under management. It is part of the private equity consortium that acquired Sungard Data Systems for US$11.3bn in March. It also partnered with KKR in the US$6.6bn purchase of Toys ‘R’ Us.