Deals round-up: PRIVATE EQUITY – Cinven/Rubicon combo hope for fourth time lucky’

In late April Cinven struck a deal with Wolseley plc to acquire all the non-energy related businesses in the group’s manufacturing division, a portfolio of companies which made operating profits totalling GBP23.2 million on combined sales of some GBP262 million in the year to July 1999. Cinven will pay Wolseley a cash consideration that values the businesses at a maximum of GBP136.5 million (EURO221.5 million).

The 17 or so principal companies acquired are a diverse bunch, ranging from agricultural acessories manufactures through cable management and diverse industrial manufacturers to photographic equipment distribution and based in the UK continental Europe and in the US.

Cinven can, however, claim some experience in dealing with disparate industrial acquisitions, as demonstrated by its mid-Nineties investment in Vector Industries. To reinvigorate the Wolseley businesses, Cinven has re-enlisted the services of Rubicon Partners, the management team which turned around Vector Industries and which Cinven is now backing for the fourth time.