Endless exit opportunity

Endless, the Leeds-based private equity firm sold its majority stake in Pearl Fittings to an affiliate of Sun European Partners, the US$3.5bn buyout specialist. Endless acquired Pearl Fittings just seven months ago in March 2006. Since that time, turnover has grown rapidly, according to Endless’ investment director, Warwick Ley. Group turnover for 2006 will be around £120m. Ley said that the ‘full benefit of this growth will feed through in 2007’.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed but endless will receive a cash payment and a cash injection will be made to Pearl Fittings. Endless remains a significant minority investor in the company.

Since its launch in December 2005, Endless has completed 15 transactions, with the sale of a majority stake in Pearl representing its third divestment from its £100m initial fund.

Sun Capital affiliates, including Sun European Partners, have invested in and managed more than 125 companies worldwide since the group’s inception in 1995. The group’s combined sales are in excess of US$30bn, over US$2bn of which is in Europe.

Pearl Fittings manufactures and distributes plumbing fittings to the retail market and construction companies and manufactures and distributes hydraulic hoses and fittings to all sectors of the fluid power industry. Pearl employs approximately 1,200 people and has manufacturing facilities in Poznan, Poland; Cordoba, Spain; Whitby and Dundee, UK.