Electra acquires French fuel business

AXA Private Equity generated an IRR of around 45 percent in the sale of Tokheim to Electra Partners Europe.

Paris-based AXA Private Equity has divested French fuel distribution manufacturer Tokheim to European buyout firm Electra Partners Europe in a transaction valuing the company at €260 million ($304 million).

Electra made the acquisition through its second European mid-market fund, which closed on €1.25 billion in June of this year.

AXA Private Equity completed the management buyout of Tokheim in April 2003 for “close to €150 million”, said AXA Private Equity LBO funds director Frédéric Collard. The current divestment has provided AXA’s vintage 2001 fund, APEFII, with an IRR of around 45 percent, he added.

According to AXA, Tokheim was mainly present on the African and European continents at the time of the original MBO, but has since started operations in Asia. A manufacturing plant in China now complements its Scotland and France facilities, and a site in India is expected in the future.

“We had quite successfully implemented our expansion strategy and debt was reduced significantly, so it was a good time to consider an exit,” added Collard.

Based in Paris, Tokheim develops, manufactures and sells fuel distribution dispensers and automated payment systems. Its customer base includes large oil companies, hypermarkets and supermarkets, and independent operators of gas stations. Tokheim currently has 3,200 staff and is expected to generate a €390 million turnover over the current financial year.