Candover has sold rail track specialist Pandrol to Delachaux of France in a £165m deal subject to approval from competition authorities in the UK, France and Spain.
Pandrol was one of three specialised engineering businesses that Candover acquired from listed UK group Charter in November 1999 in a £194m transaction. The other two businesses have already been sold: Nederman, a maker of workspace environment equipment, to EQT Danmark in December 1999; and Airtechnology Holdings, a supplier of motors, fans and environmental control systems, to US-based AMETEK in January 2003.
Candover said the exit from Pandrol had generated an overall return of almost double its investment in the Charter businesses. In 2002, Pandrol had turnover of £111.8m and an EBITDA of £15.2m. The company, which has 663 employees, has manufacturing plants in 11 countries and sells into 98 markets around the world.
Pandrol has developed resilient rail fastenings since 1937, when it gained its name from the Pandrol Brand Rail Clip. This is a fastening used in applications including concrete, timber and steel sleepers and slabtrack, and is used under every type of rail traffic. Delachaux, a listed French company, makes welding equipment for steel rails and railway maintenance equipment, and machines used to electrify mass transit systems.
Pandrol represents Candover’s seventh realisation from an investment this year. The others were: Camden Motors and Detica from the 1994 fund; Airtechnology, Bourne Leisure and Picard from the 1997 fund; and Kabel Deutschland from the 2001 fund.