Axa PE takes Souriau majority stake

The private equity management group has completed its second deal in a week with the acquisition of an 85 per cent stake in Souriau, the French connectors business.

Following last week's acquisition of a minority stake in Tetra, the aquarium and pond supply business acquired by Triton last November for $240m, Axa Private Equity has agreed terms with FCI Group over the acquisition of an 85 per cent stake in its specialised connectors business Souriau.

France-based Souriau manufactures connectors for industrial, aeronautics, space and defence applications. It employs 1,250 people and reported sales last year of E153m in 2002. The group has production plants in France, the United States, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Morocco and India.

Financial terms for the transaction have not been disclosed. Axa confirmed that it will hold 85 per cent of the company's equity alongside the management team chaired by François Calvarin and Intermediate Capital Group, which provided a mezzanine package for the transaction. Senior debt and working capital financing for the transaction was arranged by Crédit Agricole Indosuez and ING Barings.

The MBO is Axa Private Equity’s third large-scale transaction within the last six months, following the acquisition of Bonna Sabla and Tokheim International. Last week's deal saw Axa take a 22 per cent take in Tetra, the former Pfizer unit, for which Northern European buyout fund Triton paid $240m last November.

AXA Private Equity runs two directy investing LBO funds as well as a fund of funds operation. It manages or advises private equity funds with assets in excess of E4.2bn.