Segulah completes €250m take-private

The global public markets are proving a fruitful hunting ground for private equity buyers. Swedish group Gunnebo is the latest company to move into private hands.

Stockholm-based mid-market firm Segulah has taken Gunnebo Industrier, an international industrials group, off the Stockholm Stock Exchange for €250 million ($371 million).

Gunnebo operates in 16 countries and generates revenues of €260 million. The company manufactures chains, lifting equipment, fastners, ladders and other products for the building industry.

The investment was made from two of Segulah’s funds: the €250 million Segulah III and €543 million Segulah IV.

When Segulah initially announced its offer in July, it said its offer of 185 Swedish crowns per share represented a premium of 54 percent to the previous day’s closing share price.

The Gunnebo deal is the latest in a string of private equity investments in publicly listed markets across the globe in various sectors.

Global buyout firm Permira is currently in the process of taking $3.7 billion technology company NDS private in conjunction with Ruport Murdoch’s News Corporation.

At the smaller end of the market, where listed prices have often been hit harder than blue-chips, private equity firms have been eying take-privates.

Last week Duke Street acquired AIM-listed IT company Netstore in London for £58 million, while in Germany in July Aurelius acquired the ailing Frankfurt-listed drinks group Berentzen for an undisclosed sum.

PIPE deals, where private equity groups take minority stakes in listed entities, are also increasing in frequency.

According to Thomson Financial, private equity groups spent more than $16 billion on minority stakes in the first half of 2008, an increase of 38 percent on the same period in 2007.