Barclays installs itself in Sogetrel

Buyout firms ABN AMRO Capital and BBS Capital have made nearly five times their money in the €90.3m (US$108.1m) secondary exit of French installation company Sogetrel to management and Barclays Private Equity France.

ABN AMRO Capital France took a 51% stake in Sogetrel and BBS, the mid-market private equity arm of BBS Finance, 14% as part of the management buyout in 1999 for €31.5m.

Hervé Claquin, managing partner of ABN AMRO Capital France, said: “This has been a successful investment for [us] and our investors. We generated a total gain representing an overall money multiple of 4.7 times the cost of our investment and have achieved an internal rate of return of 27% over a 6.5-year period.”

Bruno Houette, director general of ABN AMRO Capital France, said Sogetrel had tripled its earnings before interest and tax under its ownership.

Originally an installation company, Sogetrel now has 37 outlets offering design, installation and maintenance of multimedia and telecom networks, including fibre optics, coaxial and twisted pairs cables used in all types of multimedia and telecom products, and cables for CCTV cameras through their brand CitéVEILLE.

In the secondary buyout, Barclays will own 60% of Sogetrel and management 40%.

BBS and ABN AMRO had previously teamed up in 2003 to buy Locafroid, which has just been bought by Eurazeo’s industrial portfolio company Fraikin.