ABN Amro completes third French exit

The second stage of ABN Amro’s exit from French industrial conglomerate De Dietrich has been completed with the sale of the heating division to Dutch-based Remeha for an undisclosed sum.

ABN Amro Capital, the private equity business of ABN Amro, has sold De Dietrich Thermique, the heating division of French industrial conglomerate De Dietrich to Dutch-based heating company Remeha for an undisclosed sum.

The firm acquired De Dietrich in September 2000 when it took the company private from the French stock exchange for an enterprise value of €520 million ($670 million).

De Dietrich Thermique turned over approximately €300 million in 2003. The company's sale to Apeldoorn, Holland-headquartered Remeha will create one of the largest manufacturers of heating equipment in Europe.

Commenting on the deal, Hervé Claquin, managing director of ABN Amro Capital in France, said in a statement: “This transaction creates further significant value for ABN Amro Capital and our investors. We are now working on a number of buyout opportunities in the French mid-market as part of our broader pan-European focus in this sector.”

The sale of the heating division is the second exit for ABN Amro Capital from the De Dietrich acquisition. In September 2002, the firm sold the company's railway division of De Dietrich to Vossloh, a German railway company. The remaining part of the portfolio is the process systems arm, which operates in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

The sale represents the third realisation for ABN Amro Capital’s French office this year. In February the firm sold MGE-UPS, a French provider of power supply solutions to the Schneider Group and in April sold industrial engineering firm d’AFE to Sagard, the French-Canadian private equity fund.

In June, ABN Amro Capital sold its entire German investments portfolio to three members of its management team – Pieter Davidson, Christof Namenyi and Henk Dröge. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With 12 offices worldwide, ABN Amro Capital has a total portfolio of €1.9 billion. Since the beginning of 2003, the firm has completed 16 buyouts and achieved 13 exits.