Compass Partners Picks Up Invensys’ Drive Systems Unit –

On the heels of The Carlyle Group’s acquisition, Compass Partners also dipped into the Invensys pool, acquiring the company’s Drive Systems division in a $145 million management buyout. The firm and company management created NewCo. Ltd. as an acquisition vehicle to purchase the unit. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Compass used The Compass Partners European Equity Fund LP, which closed in 1997 with $700 million of capital under management, for the acquisition. The fund also counts BC Components Holdings BV, N&W Global Vending, Balance Fitness BV and Global Air Movement as among its other acquisitions. Compass also acquired ABB Group’s air conditioning unit for $255 million in December.

The Drive Systems unit, headquartered in Littlehampton, UK, took in revenues of $115 million in the full-year ended March 31, 2002, and posted earnings of $20 million. The unit is a global supplier of AC inverters, DC drives and servo and vector controllers and currently employs more than 900 workers worldwide. HVAC companies and other industrial concerns are the primary users of the company’s products.

With this deal, Invensys eclipsed its original 1.5 billion pound target that was drawn up in February for disposal proceeds. The company, according to CEO Rick Haythornwaite, still plans to sell its Fasco Motors subsidiary as well.