Odyssey to sell Norcross for $1.2bn

The mid-market firm purchased the safety products company for $495m in 2005, and will exit its buy-and-build play through a sale to Canadian industrial supplies company Honeywell.

Odyssey Investment Partners has agreed to sell protective equipment manufacturer Norcross Safety Products to Canadian industrial supplies company Honeywell International in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion (€768 million).

The New York-based private equity firm acquired Norcross for $495 million in July 2005 from a group of investors including Trimaran Capital Partners, John Hancock Life Insurance Company and Chicago’s CIVC Partners.

Norcross has since completed four add-on acquisitions with a fifth pending. The company generated $609 million in revenue in 2007, up from $440 million in 2004.

“Capitalising on compelling market trends, Norcross led the early stages of consolidation in the highly fragmented safety products industry,” said Odyssey managing principal Brian Kwait in a statement.

Odyssey made the investment in Oak Brook, Illinois-based Norcross via its third fund, which closed on $750 million in March 2005. The firm’s previous fund closed in 1998 on $760 million.

Odyssey focusses on majority control investments in middle market companies. Target sectors include industrial manufacturing, business and financial services, aerospace products and services and route-based services.

In January, Odyssey acquired protective packaging company Ranpak from publicly listed alternative asset manager American Capital Strategies. Financial details were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Norcross is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008. Credit Suisse served as financial advisor to Norcross.