Permira acquires Wagon storage division

The UK private equity firm has teamed up with Bank of Scotland and RBoS to acquire the storage systems division of Wagon plc.

Permira, the UK private equity firm, has led the acquisition of the storage systems division of Wagon for a price of £60m.

The firm has formed Whittan Investments, a firm set up with debt financing from Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland to acquire the Wagon subsidiary, which provides storage solutions across Europe, employing 1300 people across twelve locations in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Spain.

Wagon is disposing of its storage systems division as part of its strategy to focus on its core activities in the automotive manufacturing industry. The division reported sales for the year ended 31 March 2002 of £126.5m with operating profits of £10.6m.

The deal is the first completed by Permira this year and is one of the first deals from the firm since it changed its name from Schroder Ventures Europe in November 2001, following its independence from the eponymous bank.

In December 2001, Permira closed the acquisition of Cognis from Henkel. Alongside GS Capital Partners (the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs) and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences, the consortium signed an agreement with Henkel to acquire Cognis for E2.5bn.

Wagon was advised on the transaction by Lazard.