PAI partners exits Michel Thierry

PAI partners has made its second recent exit with the sale of a 75 per cent stake in the French automotive fabrics supplier.

( Paris-based private equity firm PAI partners announced it sold its automotive fabric company Michel Thierry to a consortium led by the company’s management team.


Michel Thierry makes fabric for car seats and door panels. The company’s customers include Volkswagen, Toyota, BMW and General Motors. The company has also recently expanded into leather seating and seat covers. In 2002, Michel Thierry recorded sales of E300m and EBITDA of E45m. The company employs 750 people.


PAI partners acquired Michel Thierry in a E165m privatisation in March 2000, investing from the PAI LBO Fund. Terms of the latest deal were not disclosed, according to a press release.


“We are very pleased with this transaction,” Andre-Joel Motte, a senior partner at PAI partners, said in the statement. “During our partnership with the management team, Michel Thierry has strengthened its market positions, consolidated and enlarged its client portfolio while developing new product lines opening up substantial growth opportunities.”


PAI partners, formerly known as PAI Management, is the former private equity arm of BNP Paribas. The firm closed its latest fund on E1.8bn last July. The firm’s transactions include the E2.3bn privatization of United Biscuits, the acquisition of yogurt brand Yoplait, and the E1.5bn acquisition of Elis, a textile rental company.


Most recently, the firm sold its interest alongside Cinven and Astorg, in French building materials group Frans Bonhomme to Apax Partners for E520m.


PAI partner has 39 investment professionals and is managed by its 15 partners. The firm has invested E1.8bn since its founding as a part of BNP Paribas in 1994. The firm targets the textile, food and beverage, telecommunications, technology, pharmaceutical, and media and communications industries.