Bloomberg News

Axa PE Said to Near Purchase of Charterhouse’s Fives

July 03, 2012

Axa Private Equity, the buyout firm owned by French insurer Axa SA (CS), is nearing a deal to purchase Fives jointly with the management of the French engineering company, four people with knowledge of the matter said.

Paris-based Axa Private Equity and Fives’s management are are close to completing an offer to buy the company from Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, said the people, who asked not to be identified because an agreement hasn’t been signed. The deal may value Fives at more than 1 billion euros ($1.26 billion), two of them said.

Charterhouse, a London-based buyout firm, bought into the company formerly known as Fives-Lille for 450 million euros in 2006, according to the firm’s website. Fives, based in Paris, designs production lines and plant facilities. Axa Private Equity has competed against PAI Partners, Cinven Ltd. and BC Partners Ltd. for the company, in a process largely handled by Fives’s own management, which owns and will keep a large if not controlling stake, the people said.

Representatives of Axa Private Equity and Charterhouse declined to comment on the process. A spokeswoman for Fives couldn’t immediately comment.

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.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net


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