CVC considers sale of lighting group

European lighting group Partners in Lighting International has appointed Merrill Lynch to evaluate a sale of the group majority owned by CVC Capital Partners.

London headquartered private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and management of Partners in Lighting International NV (PLI) have announced that they have appointed Merrill Lynch to conduct a strategic review of the company, which could lead to a sale of the entire business.

PLI is formed of two Belgian lighting companies, Modular Lighting Instruments and Massive NV. CVC acquired Massive NV in June 2002 for $272 million (€226 million) and created the pan-European PLI group with the addition of Modular in April 2004 for an undisclosed sum.

The combined group operates in the European consumer lighting market and also the architectural lighting market through Modular. PLI turned over approximately €325 million in 2004 and employs more than 3,500 people.

Jules Noten, CEO of PLI said in a statement: “The acquisition of Modular has allowed us to reach new levels of creativity and design in our product portfolio. Now is the ideal time to consider the next steps in our strategy and development.”

CVC is currently investing its $4 billion European fund that closed in 2001. The firm has 12 offices in Europe and its most recent investment was the €850 million acquisition of the sugar confectionary division of CSM, an Amsterdam-headquartered producer of baking ingredients.