Deal round-up 02/04/02.

Sagitta leads Casella investment; Apax invests in Cognitis; 3i backs Vibtech

Sagitta leads Casella investment

UK firm Sagitta Private Equity has completed a £6m investment round in Casella Group, a UK-based environmental services business. Sagitta led the expansion capital round, investing £2.75m alongside existing investors Baring Private Equity Partners and Advent Venture Partners which invested £2m and £1.25m respectively.

The funds will be used to finance Casella’s acquisition of EMC Environmental Engineering and its subsidiary Monitor (Europe) Ltd, and to provide working capital to the Group. The acquisition will make Casella one of the largest companies in the UK environmental services and equipment market, with combined revenues of approximately £50m.

Apax invests in Cognitis

Apax Partners has completed a E7m investment in Cognitis Group, a French information systems solution provider. The company intends to use the proceeds of the fundraising to expand into new European markets.

The Cognitis Group achieved turnover of E30.5m for 2001. In 2002 the company plans to increase its staff to 600 consultants, from the 450 in 2001, and forecasts a rise in turnover to E45.7m.

Recent investments for Apax in France have included Avisium, CCMX, Valoris and Webraska.

3i backs Vibtech

A consortium of investors has invested £4m in Vibtech, a Glasgow-based provider of communications systems for the oil industry. The funding will be used to develop Infinite Telemetry System, which will speed up the transmission of geological data.

Funding for the project has been put together by an investment syndicate that includes 3i Group, Europe's largest venture capital company, Yorkshire Fund Managers, the Nova Technology Fund, a specific oil industry fund managed by Aberdeen Murray Johnston Private Equity, and Braveheart Ventures, a Perthshire-based private investment organisation.