New in brief

Carlyle has sold CAMECA, which makes ion and electron probes, to AMETEK, a US-based manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, for €82m. Carlyle Europe Venture Partners bought CAMECA in April 2005, and has since helped the company grow internationally, including the acquisition of German ion probe manufacturer Atomika in July 2005. Carlyle Group was advised by Jefferies, Deloitte, and Latham & Watkins.

Lion Capital is buying Russia’s third largest juice producer, Nidan Soki. The Russian company, which is number one in Siberia, produces several leading brands such as Moya Samya. The Moscow-head quartered company generated sales of around US$270m last year. With rising incomes in Russia, the juice market is thought to hold plenty of growth potential. Nidan was advised by Troika Dialog and Lion Capital by Goldman Sachs, which is also providing the financing.

Alba, a UK distributor of electrical consumer goods, plans to sell its leisure division to private equity house Rutland Partners for £51.5m (€75.2m). Alba’s leisure business is a branded goods provider to the UK and Eire home electrical product markets, with products including kitchen appliances, electrical hair care products and power and garden tools. It was established as a separate division to Alba’s consumer electronics business in April 2006.The group put the division up for sale during late 2006 to release value for shareholders during restructuring of its consumer electronics arm. Announcing the sale, Alba chairman John Harris said the company continues to focus on restructuring its remaining business

Direct Group, a UK insurance services business, has been sold by Barclays Private Equity to mid-market rival Lloyds Development Capital in a transaction valuing the business at £40m (€58.9m). Barclays has sold Direct Group after five years of ownership. Derek Coles, managing director since 2006, and Scott Hough have replaced co-founder Nigel Clack and Geoff Woodhead. Based in Doncaster and Halifax, Direct Group provides services to insurers and corporate partners, including policy administration and fulfilment, claims handling and performance reporting and commission management.

• European private equity house Industri Kapital has bought a majority stake in Germany’s Schenck Process from HgCapital for an undisclosed sum. Schenck specialises in industrial weighing, feeding, screening and automation equipment and solutions. HgCapital bought the business from German automotive technology group Durr in 2005, since which time the firm has helped it grow revenues to €350m per year. HgCapital was advised by Greenhill and Clifford Chance. Industri Kapital was advised by Sal. Oppenheim, Lazard and Freshfields.