Cognetas in second deal this week

Cognetas, a European private equity firm, has completed its second deal this week with the sale of an aluminium manufacturer to a consortium for €430 million.

Cognetas, a European mid-market private equity firm, has sold Aliplast Group, a European aluminium manufacturer, to Sagard, a French private equity firm, and Ergon, a European private equity fund, for €430 million ($567 million).  Cognetas has made €260 million, a multiple of 3.7 times its investment and an internal rate of return of 54 percent, according to a statement.

The deal is expected to complete by the end of January or early February 2007.

In 2004 Cognetas invested €71.9 million in the €203 million management buyout of Aliplast. The business was acquired from the company’s founder, Peter Blijweert, his brother, the chief executive officer and two minority institutional shareholders. 

The company has its headquarters in Belgium, with locations in France, the UK and Poland. It also has subsidiaries in La Reunion and China. The group generated total revenue of about €180 million in 2005 and is expected to report a growth of more than 20 percent in this year.  

ABN AMRO Corporate Finance and KPMG provided financial services to Cognetas while Ashurst gave legal advice.  Laga, a European law firm, and Slaughter and May advised the management.  Clifford Chance advised the consortium.

Earlier this week Cognetas sold Azelis, a specialised chemicals company, to 3i for €315 million, generating an internal rate of return of 27 percent.

Mark Elborn, partner of Cognetas, said in the next 18 months the firm would look more at the healthcare and support services sectors and reduce its activity in the German industrial market.

Cognetas advises funds of €2.26 billion and invests in business services, industry, consumer related industries, financial services and healthcare services and equipment.