Platinum strikes deals in Germany, US

The Los Angeles firm has agreed to purchase CompuCom Systems for $254m and Dystar for an undisclosed amount as it readies a final close on its inaugural $700m vehicle.

Los Angeles-based private equity firm Platinum Equity simultaneously announced the purchases of publicly traded CompuCom Systems from Safeguard Scientifics for $254 million (€207 million) and of Frankfurt-based Dystar for an undisclosed amount.

CompuCom is a Dallas, Texas-based company that provides software and services for companies to ‘plan, implement and manage multi-vendor computing environments.’ Safeguard currently holds a 58 percent voting interest in CompuCom, whose shareholders will receive $4.60 per outstanding share. The transaction includes the payment of $15 million plus accumulated dividends with respect to the company’s outstanding preferred stock, according to a press statement. The deal is contingent upon the placement of $35 million (€29 million) in debt financing. For 2003, CompuCom recorded $1.5 billion in revenue with $13.2 million in profits.

Dystar is a German manufacturer of textile dyes. According to a press release, Platinum will acquire 100 percent of the company’s shares, which are currently held by BASF, Bayer, and Hoeschst, a subsidiary of Aventis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In 2003, Dystar posted global sales of approximately €800 million.

The two announcements come right as Platinum prepares to close its premier fund. Though the firm would not confirm details, reportedly the firm will shortly hold a final close on its first fund, estimated to be worth about $700 million (€572 million).

Platinum Equity, founded in 1995, specialises in the ‘merger, acquisition and operation of mission-critical services and solutions companies.’ In February, the firm completed the acquisition of the logistics business of Hays plc, the UK-listed business services group, for £102 million.