Clextral in French MBO

The food-processing firm has been bought from the Framatome Group in a management buyout backed by AtriA Capital.

Clextral Group, which produces processing equipment for the food industries, has been bought out by a management team led by current managing director Georges Jobard and other senior management.

The buyout from the Framatome Group was led by AtriA Capital Partners, the French private equity house focused on mid-market companies, which structured and arranged the financing of the deal, in partnership with IDIA Participations.

Post transaction, AtriA Capital Partners is the main shareholder of the Group with a 43 per cent equity stake. There are two equity co-investors, besides the management: IDIA Participations, Crédit Agricole's investment fund aimed at mid-market companies and Gimeca, the capital-investment branch of the French Federation of Mechanical Industries (F.I.M.). Crédit Lyonnais and Société Générale arranged the senior debt for the transaction. AtriA is also working to set up an Employye Share Ownership Plan for Clextral.

Clextral was estanlished in 1956 and now employs 200 people. It has offices in both the US and Singapore and achieved sales ?35.7m in 2000 (an increase of 31 per cent over the previous year).

AtriA Capital Partenaires was founded in 1999 by the former team of CFI, one of the oldest French private equity firms, to invest in mid-market companies (typically with ?15m to ?150m turnover) either in leveraged buyout or development capital transactions. It manages ?200m of capital for institutional investors through both CFI (which it advises) and AtriA Private Equity Fund, a closed fund.

The AtriA Private Equity Fund was raised with capital provided by sponsors UI and Capital Z Investments, a range of leading French and international institutions and a number of entrepreneurs. It has invested in a number of French companies, including security printer Multipap and insurance assessment specialist Texavenir.