AXA to sell industrial group

The Paris-based firm is to sell its stake to LBO France for an undisclosed sum.

LBO France is to purchase Alvest from AXA Private Equity and Equistone Partners Europe. Alvest is a French industrial company that provides ground support equipment for airports. 

Financial details of the deal, which needs to be approved by regulatory authorities, were undisclosed.

AXA PE acquired its stake in 2006, using its AXA LBO Fund III. Under its ownership, Alvest expanded with the acquisition of Sage Parts, a distributer of spare parts for ground support equipment at airports. Alvest’s planned turnover for 2012 was €300 million, which is more than double 2006 levels, AXA PE said.

It is AXA PE’s second exit in recent months. In September, AXA PE sold Unipex, a chemical company to IK Investment Partners for an undisclosed sum. It acquired the company in 2008 using its LBO Fund IV.

A few weeks ago, it emerged the firm, which is currently raising a new European buyout fund, passed the half-way mark in its bid to raise €2 billion for Fund V. Since fundraising began approximately six months ago, the firm attracted €1.1 billion from LPs, a source familiar with the matter told Private Equity International in November. 

It is unclear which fund LBO France used for the Alvest investment. AXA PE and LBO France did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

In April, LBO France delayed the launch of a new mid-market buyout fund, White Knight IX, because of political turmoil in France and economic uncertainty in Europe, Private Equity International reported.