Candover’s Diamant exit

Candover is celebrating the fifth exit from its 1997 fund. The firm has entered into an agreement to sell Diamant Boart, a manufacturer and supplier of diamond tools and related equipment for the construction and stone market. Electrolux will acquire the company for EURO185 million.

Candover acquired Belgium-based Diamant Boart in June 1999 from Sibeka, a subsidiary of Union Miniere and De Beers. Total value of the buyout was EURO136.3 million, with EURO44.6 million provided by the Candover 1997 fund. Since the transaction and under the leadership of CEO Bernard Goblet and chairman Philippe Bodson, Diamant Boart has continued to grow, sales and profits have more than doubled since the original buyout. In the year to 31 December 2001 the company’s sales were EURO280 million.

Diamant Boart was established in 1937 and originally developed tools and machines for industrial use, using boart, a low-quality natural diamond found in diamond mines in the Congo. Subsequently, synthetic industrial diamonds, developed in the 1960s have replaced natural diamonds, representing 95 per cent of world industrial diamond consumption.

Candover director, Chris Spencer, said: “Diamant Boart has been a successful investment for Candover. Since the acquisition in 1999, the company has continued to build on its position as a global player in the sector and has significantly increased its share of the diamond tool market.”

He added that being part of Electrolux will allow Diamant Boart to capitalise on its market-leading position and take full advantage of opportunities for further growth.

Candover has seen several exits this year. Recently the firm sold PII Group Limited, the global pipeline integrity services company to GE Power Systems and in April, Regional Independent Media was sold to Johnston Press. Candover has also realised part of its holding in IT services company Detica, which has just floated on the London Stock Exchange see exit news this issue.