Riverside acquires air filtration firm

The mid-market specialist buys SPX Air Filtration from its US parent in its sixth deal this year from its European fund and its 15th acquisition overall for 2008.

The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the mid-market, has bought SPX Air Filtration from its US parent for an undisclosed sum. It is relocating the business to Sweden, where SPX Air Filtration manufactures and distributes a broad range of air filtration products to markets worldwide.

The transaction, which will create a standalone company, is the sixth this year for the Riverside Europe Fund III, and the 15th overall for Riverside in 2008.

Riverside partner Thomas Blomqvist, who joined the firm nine months ago to lead its efforts in the Nordic region, told PEO: “The company is European, it operates in 10 European countries with no business in the US. Its biggest market is Sweden and it has a strong brand. Sweden is also a good jurisdiction for a corporates.”

SPX Air Filtration serves over 5,000 customers and offers a range of air filtration products divided into three categories: comfort air, clean process air and medical systems air filtration.

The acquisition is the first investment for Riverside in the Nordic region, where it sees a robust pipeline of mid-sized companies.

Riverside partner Karsten Langer, of the European origination team, said in a statement: “Scott Gilbertson, a principal in our North American origination team initially sourced the transaction before referring it to our European team. This ongoing communication between the global origination team, which now consists of more than 20 professionals across three continents, has allowed the firm to refine its review of cross-border opportunities.”

Financing was provided via Kaupthing Bank and Eqvitec.

Since 1988, Riverside has invested in 191 transactions with a total enterprise value of $3.4 billion (€2.2 billion). Its current portfolio in the US, Europe and Asia numbers 63, with combined annual sales of $3 billion, EBITDA of $468 million and more than 14,000 employees.