Barclays takes stake in rail group

Mid-market private equity firm Barclays Private Equity France has acquired a majority stake in French railway fitting company, Compin Group.

Compin was financed in 2005 by French private equity group, LBO France. The Paris-based private equity firm will become a minority shareholder in the company following the new deal.

Barclays Private Equity is said to be interested in the French rail company because of its plans to target the UK rail market. Guillaume Jacqueau, managing director at Barclays Private Equity France said: “The company has ambitious plan in the UK – the third largest railway market in Europe – and we are looking forward to working with Compin Group’s management team to achieve these goals.”

Part of Compin’s growth strategy is to open a proximity assembly centre in the UK to produce seats and front applications, a move that has already been accomplished in France. The rail company currently employs 60 people in the UK and has forecasted activity of approximately £6m in 2008/09.

BPEF is being backed by BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, LCL, Banque Palatine, BESV and the Credit Agricol Group.