3i and Litorina sell Q-Matic to Altor for bumper gain

UK buyout firm 3i and Swedish buyout firm Litorina Kapital have sold Q-Matic to Nordic buyout firm Altor, making a nine times return on their initial investment and registering a 150 percent IRR over three years.

Litorina Kapital and 3i have sold Q-Matic, a manufacturer of queue management systems, to Nordic buyout firm Altor. The deal price was undisclosed.

The UK buyout firm’s spokesman said the deal returned more than 9 times the consortium’s original investment, with an IRR of 150 percent.

Swedish buyout firm Litorina Kapital and 3i acquired a 70 per cent stake in Q-Matic in the autumn of 2004, as a growth capital investment. The company’s two founder families, whose names were undisclosed, have also exited their 15 percent stake with the sale to Altor. 

Revenues at Q-Matic have risen 20 per cent per annum, while profits have more than doubled since the takeover. The company’s queuing machines use information about customer flows to stream customers in public spaces, including banks, airports and town councils.

Harold Kaiser, senior partner at Litorina Kapital, said: “We identified Q-Matic as an interesting investment back in 2004 based upon the company’s global dominance within its niche, which had successfully been established by the founding families over a 20-year period.”

Q-Matic’s systems are sold in more than 102 countries and its revenues amounted to SEK 386 million ($54.7 million, €40.1 million) in 2006.