EQT sells Dahl to Saint-Gobain

Nordic private equity firm EQT has agreed to sell Swedish heating and sanitation wholesaler Dahl to French glass and building materials group Saint-Gobain.

Dahl, which was acquired by EQT and Ratos in a public to private transaction in 1999, is being sold to French group Saint-Gobain. Financial details of the deal, which is subject to competition authority approval, have not been disclosed.

In a statement, EQT said its EQT II fund had, together with other shareholders, signed an agreement with Saint-Gobain to divest all its shares in Dahl. It said the business had developed “exceptionally well” in the last five years and turnover, profits and cash flow had all improved “significantly”.

Under the period of ownership, sales grew from SEK10.5 billion to SEK12.5 billion and operating profits from SEK346 million to SEK733 million.

Dahl is the leading heating and sanitation wholesaler in the Nordic region, with 2,000 suppliers and 32,000 customers. The company has 3,300 employees operating out of around 260 branches.

Saint-Gobain has operations in 46 countries and approximately 173,000 employees. In the Nordic region, the firm has so far acted mainly as a manufacturer of glass and insulation materials. The firm says Dahl will be the Nordic platform in its strategy to develop other building materials distribution activities.

“The combination of Dahl and Saint-Gobain is excellent in many ways,” said Per-Olof Soderberg, chief executive officer at Dahl. “Dahl will strengthen further with a global distributor in the building materials industry as owner. We expect strong synergies between Saint-Gobain and Dahl.”

In January, EQT II fund sold Finnish baker Vaasan & Vaasan to UK-based private equity firm CapVest for an undisclosed sum that was valued by sources at just under €300 million.