Carlyle gets The Sniffers for Christmas

The Carlyle Group has sealed its seventh investment from its European Technology Partners II fund this year, acquiring Belgian emission monitoring business The Sniffers.

The Carlyle Group’s European team has rounded off a busy year by acquiring The Sniffers, which provides emission monitoring services to the oil and gas industry, from Belgian venture capital group Creafund for an undisclosed sum.

The investment is the seventh this year to have been made with capital from Carlyle European Technology Partners II, the firm’s €530 million Europe-focused 2007-vintage fund.

Previous CETP II deals this year include financial monitoring business ITRS Group, French inspection software company Metrologic Group, German cosmetics supplier ADA Cosmetics, and special effects business The Foundry. It also acquired ATS-Sferic as a bolt-on for existing portfolio company Marle, which forges items for use in medical instruments, and increased its stake in German human resources software developer Personal & Informatik.

The Sniffers monitors fugitive emissions – gas or vapour leaking from pressurised equipment used in the oil refining business. The company has more than 200 customers, according to Carlyle, and is one of the market leaders in Europe and the Middle East.

Rudy van Baelen, chief executive of The Sniffers, said the company had trebled in size over the last four years, and predicted Carlyle’s input would help it expand further into new markets.

Van Baelen, a host of other senior managers, and all previous shareholders in the company have re-invested in the company as part of the Carlyle buyout.

BDO, Estin and law firms Stibbe and Herbert Smith advised Carlyle on the deal.