Bloomberg News

Charterhouse Said to Eye Sale of Engineering Firm Fives

June 05, 2012

Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, a London-based buyout firm, plans to sell its controlling stake in the French engineering company Fives in a transaction that may value the business at about 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion), said three people with knowledge of the process.

The asset is expected to draw interest from private-equity firms including Axa Private Equity and PAI Partners, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Fives executives, who also own shares, may seek to team with a buyout firm to buy the stake, the people said.

Charterhouse in 2006 acquired the entity that controlled the company formerly known as Fives-Lille, which designs and supplies process equipment, production lines and plant facilities for industrial companies. The company’s named changed to Fives in 2007.

Representatives of Charterhouse didn’t immediately return calls for comment, while Fives declined to comment. Spokesmen for Axa Private Equity and PAI declined to comment.

Fives’s management initiated talks with private-equity firms about buying Charterhouse’s stake, two of the people said. That prompted Charterhouse to begin a formal process to solicit bids, they said.

Fives had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 99 million euros last year, up 15 percent from the previous year, according to the company’s website.

L’Agefi earlier reported Rothschild was hired to sell Charterhouse’s stake in Fives.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jacqueline Simmons in Paris at jackiem@bloomberg.net; Anne-Sylvaine Chassany in London at achassany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net


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