Monitor Clipper Unloads Alcan in First Exit –

In its first exit, Monitor Clipper Partners has sold Technal, a French manufacturer of aluminum systems used in the fabrication of doors and windows. A division of Norsk Hydro, Norway’s largest industrial group, is paying EURO116 million ($102.5 million) for Technal, including EURO43 million in debt. The transaction is still waiting for regulatory approval.

Monitor Clipper’s acquisition of Technal from Alcan Aluminum in July 1999 (Buyouts Aug. 2, 1999, p. 8) was the firm’s first European transaction from its $625 million fund. The firm, based in Cambridge, Mass., with an office in London, was formed in 1998 by Monitor Co., a group of advisory businesses and strategy consulting firms, and The Clipper Group, a private investment firm.

The value of the original Technal deal was FFr510 million (around $100 million), including debt of EURO53 million supplied by a JP Morgan Chase-led syndicate, the remainder of which the new buyer will assume with the close of the sale.

The deal marks Monitor Clipper Partners’ first exit, and it should garner the group a gross IRR in excess of 30%. Oliver Markl, a principal based in Monitor Clipper Partners’ London office, said, “This has been a very successful exercise for our first French LBO.”

After Monitor Clipper bought the company in 1999, it put in place a new senior management team led by CEO Patrick Tanguy.

“Monitor Clipper Partners and [its sponsors] have allowed Technal to restructure itself into three complementary and tightly focused business units and have provided the company with the tools to embark on an aggressive pan-European growth strategy,” Tanguy said.

Technal is headquartered in Toulouse, France, and also has operations in England, Spain and Portugal.

The company designs, manufactures and markets a broad range of building systems that are used in the fabrication of a variety of products, such as doors, windows and conservatories. The Technal group has annual revenue of EURO250 million and approximately 1,560 employees, increased from 1,400 in 1999.

Technal will be integrated into Norsk Hydro’s Hydro Building Systems, which is part of Hydro Aluminium Extrusion, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Hydro Building Systems employs 3,200 people and has operations in more than 20 countries. In recent years, Hydro Aluminium Extrusion (a division within the light metals business segment of Norsk Hydro) has made a series of international acquisitions and joint venture agreements. Last year it acquired Wells Aluminum, an extrusion company based in Baltimore.

To date, Technal is Monitor Clipper Partners’ only European deal, but Markl said the firm is currently working on another, which could close before the end of the year.

The firm has been relatively quiet over the past year, but holds in its portfolio American Fibers & Yarns, formerly a division of BP Amoco; Veridian Corp., an information security and secured data networks provider; and Corporate Wings, a Cleveland-based fractional jet ownership program.

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