French consortium completes Mecatherm secondary

A private equity consortium comprising 21 Centrale Partners, Astorg Partners and Cogepa have sold baking ovens manufacturer Mecatherm to Franco-German investor Alpha Group.

A consortium of French private equity firms led by 21 Centrale Partners have sold their stakes in Mecatherm, a French manufacturer of baking ovens and automated production equipment.
The €28.8 million ($35 million) transaction generated a 3.3x money multiple and an IRR of 77 percent for 21 Centrale Partners, which invested approximately €10 million in Mecatherm at the beginning of 2004.
Paris-based 21 Centrale Partners, Astorg Partners and Cogepa sold Mecatherm in a secondary buyout to the Paris office of Franco-German private equity firm Alpha Group, which closed its seventh vehicle, Alpha Private Equity Fund 5, on €750 million in February.
Gerard Pluvinet, president of 21 Centrale Partners, said Mecatherm’s founder, Rene Voegtlin, approached the private equity firm to organise his succession and ensure the continuity of the company after suffering from poor health.
Mecatherm is the first exit from 21 Development 2, a €100 million vehicle closed in May 2002. 21 Centrale Partners said the exit will return 33 percent of the total size of the fund.
Based in Schirmeck, Mecatherm generated sales of €75 million in 2005 according to French press reports, up from €43 million in 2004.
21 Centrale Partners is part of Italy’s 21 Investimenti Group, founded by Alessandro Benetton in 1993, which manages and advises approximately €1 billion in assets. Last September, the firm completed the management buyout of Anglo French Underwriters, a Lloyds’ coverholder in France, for an undisclosed sum.