CD&R’s Sirva continues European rollup

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company Sirva has acquired Belgian relocation services provider PRS Europe, two months after raising $400m via a listing on NYSE.

Sirva, the relocation services company backed by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, has made its second European acquisition in less than a year, acquiring Belgian company PRS Europe for an undisclosed sum.

PRS Europe is the biggest relocation services provider in Belgium, and one of the largest in Europe, with operations across Belgium, France and The Netherlands.


Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.


In mid-2003, Sirva, which has its headquarters in Chicago, acquired Scanvan, a Sweden-based provider of domestic and international relocation services to corporations, governments and consumers in Scandinavia. Terms for the transaction were also not disclosed, although sources put the price at around $25m.


Sirva’s European operations include Pickfords, Allied Pickfords and Allied Arthur Pierre. In 2002, the company acquired UK removals business Rowan Simmons for €10 million and French removals business Maison Huet, for an undisclosed sum.


CD&R made its first investment in Sirva in 1998, and held an 81 per cent stake in the business until the business was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in November last year. Sirva raised just under $400 million (€315 million) when 21 million shares were placed at $18.50 per share. 7.5 million shares were sold by existing shareholders led by CD&R, while Sirva used the remaining net proceeds of the listing to reduce company debt.


Following the initial public offering, Sirva has 70,400,000 shares of stock outstanding, which at the €18.50 flotation price is worth $1.3 billion. CD&R continues to own a majority stake in the company.


Sirva was previously known as Allied Worldwide until it changed its name to Sirva in February 2002, following a further injection of growth capital from CD&R. Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Sirva, is a principal at CD&R. The firm initially invested in the buy-and-build strategy for Sirva when it backed a $200 million buyout of North American Van Lines in January 1998.