AXA rolls on expansion of Italian manufacturer

The private equity arm of the French insurer has purchased a majority stake in engineering company Rollon.

AXA Private Equity has acquired a 51.8 percent stake in Italian linear motion manufacturer Rollon Group, according to a statement.

The company’s management will retain a 5 percent share, while Italian private equity firm Consilium will own the remaining 43.2 percent.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The deal was financed with “much more” equity compared to debt, according to Paolo Bergonzini, managing director and head of the LBO small-cap Italian team at AXA. It comes out of AXA’s Expansion Fund II, which raised €353 million in 2007 and is roughly 60 percent deployed.

Bergonzini told PEO that AXA had been following Rollon for the past two years and was impressed by its resistance to the financial crisis. The company posted revenues of €30 million in 2009 and, according to the statement, its “expected development over the next few years will be based on exploiting the synergies between various application sectors and growth in the US”.

Bergonzini added that AXA is planning a buy-and-build strategy in order to complete Rollon’s product range, and will then use the company’s strong network of subsidiaries in France, Germany, Italy and the US “to channel these new products on the distribution network.”

Rollon manufactures equipment for machine design for railways, plant assembly, transportation, and medical devices, as well as for other sectors.