EQT takes exits past €6bn with Securitas sale

EQT has sealed its third sizeable sale this year with the disposal of an alarm manufacturer to Bain and Hellman & Friedman.

EQT Partners has scored one of the biggest exits in Europe this year with the sale of Securitas to Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.

The pair will pay SEK 21 billion (€2.3 billion) for the alarm company, with an additional payment of up to SEK 0.9 billion conditional on the company’s future performance, EQT said in a statement.

The sale price is more than twice what EQT paid for the company in 2008, when it de-listed the business from the Stockholm Stock Exchange in an SEK 10.1 billion deal.

Bain and Hellman & Friedman reportedly fought off stiff competition from a number of peers understood to include Carlyle Group, Clayton, Dublier & Rice, both bidding with trade player Stanley Black & Decker, and Apax Partners, according to press reports. 

The sale by Stockholm-headquartered EQT is its third sizeable disposal this year, following its sale of Kabel BW to US group Liberty Global for €3.2 billion in March, and the sale of Gambro subsidiary CaridianBCT to Japanese medical technology company Terumo Corporation. EQT owns 51 percent of Gambro, with Nordic peer Investor holding 49 percent. EQT's share of that disposal was about €940 million.

Bain and Hellman & Friedman financed their bid for Securitas with debt provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Nordea. Goldman advised the private equity firms on their bid, while Morgan Stanley and Nordea managed the auction process for EQT.

During its period of ownership, Securitas Direct sales grew on average by 13 percent, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rising by 20 percent per year in the period 2007 to 2011, EQT said.  In 2010 sales were SEK 5.51 billion and EBITDA SEK 1.45 billion, it said.

Peter Nilsson, Securitas chairman, said: “In spite of the global financial crisis and ensuing recession in the past few years we successfully managed to implement an ambitious growth and development plan which boosted both the size of the customer portfolio and sales during our ownership period.”