SPG makes first, $670m exit(4)

Snow Phipps Group, fresh from the $620 million close of its debut fund, has sold Excel Mining to Orica Limited for $670 million.

Snow Phipps Group has made its first exit with the sale of Excel Mining, a maker of roof bolts for mines, to Orica Limited, an Australian industrial explosives manufacturer, for $670 million (€475 million).

SPG bought Excel from founder Bruce Cassidy in October 2006 for an undisclosed amount, and recapitalised the company in July 2007 in order to pay a special dividend to SPG's shareholders. While SPG owned Excel, operating partner Paul Chellgren served as the company's non-executive chairman. Chellgren was formerly the chairman and chief executive officer of Ashland Coal, which he participated in the creation of in the mid-1970s.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Goldman Sachs was SPG's financial advisor, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett provided legal advice.

Former Ripplewood managing director Ian Snow and Ogden Phipps of the Phipps family group founded SPG two years ago, in association with Guggenheim Partners.

SPG closed its first fund on $620 million earlier this month. The two-year old middle market firm has been involved in the buyouts of four other companies to date: frozen dessert chain Tasti D-lite, Laureate Education, FiberVisions Corporation and Continental Environmental Redevelopment Financial.