Italian PE funds exit domestic fridge manufacturer

Italian refrigerator heat exchangers manufacturer, Eco SpA has been sold by its four Italian private equity investors for an undisclosed sum. The buyer is Compass, which now owns 100% of the company after PM & Partners, BS Private Equity, BNL Investire Impresa and current management agreed to sell the London-based firm, in a secondary buyout transaction.

PM & Partners’ €160m Emerald Fund led a management buy-in in June 1999, taking a 24.6% interest. BS Private Equity invested from its 1996 €73m Italian Private Equity Fund II. BNL Investire Impresa is the private equity fund of BNL Gestioni Sgr.

ECO is the biggest European manufacturer of finned pack heat exchangers, unit coolers and remote condensers, and reported sales of €200m in 2003, up from €144m in 1999.