Barclays buys Kermel from Argos Soditic

European buyout firm Argos Soditic has sold its majority stake in French fibre maker Kermel to Barclays Private Equity for an undisclosed amount. The deal has generated an internal rate of return of 88 percent for the Geneva-based firm.

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.