AXA in €500m manufacturing exit

The firm has agreed to sell flooring specialist Gerflor alongside Barclays Private Equity and Paris-based asset management firm NiXEN Partners.

AXA Private Equity has agreed to sell international flooring specialist Gerflor to Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) after holding the company for roughly five years.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but a source close to the situation put the price at about €500 million. France-headquartered Gerflor manufactures flooring and interior finishing solutions across a number of brand names in more than 100 countries. AXA acquired a majority stake in the company for approximately €310 million in 2006.

The deal is expected to close by the end of March 2011.

ICG has been invested in Gerflor since 1992, and will purchase minority stakes from other shareholders including Barclays Private Equity and Paris-based asset management firm NiXEN Partners.

Gerflor increased its sales from €359 million in 2006 to €448 million in 2010 through add-on acquisitions and by investing nearly €60 million in its industrial equipment. The company’s products are used in professional applications such as healthcare and retail facilities as well as in residential properties.

In December, AXA generated a 2x exit multiple by completing the sale of specialty chemical company Eliokem to fellow chemicals company Omnova Solutions for €227.5 million. AXA acquired Eliokem in a €130 million leveraged buyout deal in 2006 from Connecticut-based private equity investor Littlejohn & Co.