European buyout firm Candover has completed the sale of its diamond tool manufacturing interest, Diamant Boart, to Electrolux AB. The sale price of E185m (£114.5m) provides Candover with a near £70m profit on the £45m it invested in the firm just under three years ago.
Candover acquired Belgium-based Diamant Boart in June 1999 from Sibeka, a subsidiary of Union Minière and De Beers. Since then, Diamant Boart has reported increased sales and profitability. In the year to 31 December 2001, Diamant Boart’s sales were E280m against E174.1m in 2000.
Chris Spencer, director at Candover who oversaw the sale of Diamant, said that Diamant had performed well over the past three years, outperforming rival firms in the growth market. “We set about making a number of small acquisitions in Australia, Switzerland and Sweden as well as developing a number of new products in existing markets. This enabled us to double operating profits as well as achieving healthy improvements in turnover.”
This is the fifth realisation for the Candover 1997 Fund. During 2000 Candover exited from ASW Holdings plc through a repayment of convertible loan notes and in 2001, Claverham, the defence and aerospace engineering business, was sold to Hamilton Sundstrand. In March this year, Candover sold PII Group, the global pipeline integrity services company, to GE Power Systems in a £310m deal, and in April, Regional Independent Media was sold to Johnston Press plc for £560m.
Candover also announced that its current fund, The Candover 2001 Fund, has raised E2.3bn to date and is on target to close at E2.5bn in June.