Duke Street exits MSSA

Duke Street Capital today announced that they had sold their 30% stake in the French chemicals business Métaux Spéciaux (MSSA) to Royal Bank Private Equity.

Duke Street acquired their stake in MSSA for FF16m in 1997 in an MBO from Pechiney. Since then MSSA has undertaken a major capital investment programme as well as making some strategic acquisitions. The company has become the leading producer of sodium metal and its derivatives in Europe during this period.

The original investment was made alongside the French venture capital group, NATEXIS Banques Populaires and Parcom Ventures which both held 30%.

Fred Chauffier, Managing Director of Duke Street 's European Activities, sees this deal as an indication of the growing interest from French companies in private equity. He commented, “we believe that French companies will be increasingly attracted to private equity finance, developing businesses with Europe-wide market positions and creating value for shareholders, management and employees alike.”