Barclays Private Equity has bought Kermel, a maker of fibres for protective clothes, in a private sale from Argos Soditic. Argos, which bought the business for €15 million in 2002, has made a return of twelve and a half times its original investment and an internal rate of return of 88 percent.
Argos originally bought the business from Rhodia, a French chemicals company, and increased Kermel’s sales from €13 million in 2001 to €25 million in 2006, and its earnings before interest and tax from €1.7 million in 2001 to €6.8 million in 2006.
Barclays has previously bought two other companies in private sales from Argos – French stain removal business Eau Ecarlate in 2002 and medical equipment business Saime in 2004.
Founded in 1989, Argos has offices in Paris, Geneva and Milan, and is currently investing a €267 million fund which closed in 2006.
Barclays Private Equity is currently investing a €1.65 billion fund which closed in February 2005.