Mid Europa buys Wheelabrator

Mid Europa Partners, a private equity firm focused on Central Europe, has agreed its second deal since closing its record-breaking private equity fund at €655m last month.

The firm has bought Wheelabrator Group, a surface preparation and finishing equipment provider to the auto and aviation industries, from US-based turnaround firm Bard. Although financial terms were not disclosed, Wheelabrator has annual turnover of US$250m and Mid Europa typically invests €25m–$100m in equity stakes.

Wheelabrator, along with Blastrac, had been a subsidiary of International Surface Preparation Corporation (ISPC), which a Bard-led consortium bought in 2003 from US Filter Corporation. The other investors in the ISPC buyout were investment fund GlenRock Group, First Atlantic Partners and Hunt Capital Group.

The company is separate from other Wheelabrator-branded businesses that were acquired by LBO France and Siemens last year.

Mid Europa has been represented in Warsaw since 2004, having been founded in 1999. Its other investments in Poland include cable TV operator Aster.

It is the largest private equity firm investing in Central and Eastern Europe. Operating from London, Budapest and Warsaw, Mid Europa Partners advises and manages funds with committed capital in excess of €1.1bn.