ABN to sell Dutch testing firm for €193m

ABN AMRO Capital has agreed the sale of Netherlands-based RTD Group to Applus, a Spanish testing firm.

ABN AMRO Capital, the private equity arm of banking group ABN AMRO, has agreed to sell Dutch testing firm Roentgen Technische Dienst (RTD) to Spain’s Applus Servicios Tecnologicos (Applus) for an enterprise value of €193 million ($236 million).

A statement said the sale is expected to complete next month, subject to customary approvals, and the incumbent management will continue to lead RTD following the deal.

The private equity firm acquired RTD from Lloyds Register, the UK safety enhancement organisation, in 2002. Since 2003, it has worked alongside RTD CEO Ad Verkuyten in making a number of acquisitions, including Compra (Germany), PS&I (France) and Steeltest (Australia).

RTD is a provider of non-destructive testing and inspection services to the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Using techniques such as ultrasound and radiography, it tests installations “while maintaining their structural integrity”. Founded in 1937, the firm has offices in 11 countries, employs 1,100 staff, and delivered turnover of €120 million in 2005.

Applus, a testing, inspection and certification company formed in 1996, is part of Aguas de Barcelona, originally a Spanish water utility. The statement said the acquisition of RTD “fits perfectly with Applus’ strategy of becoming a multi-sector specialist in the fields of testing and inspection through organic growth and acquisition”.

ABN AMRO Capital was advised by NM Rothschild, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Loyens & Loeff, OC&C Strategy Consultants and Aon. Applus was advised by BNP Paribas Corporate Finance and Cuatrecasas/Stibbe; while the management team was assisted by Nielen Schuman and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.