OEP sees reshoring advantage for Clayens; LDC steps out of shower specialist Aqualisa

Clayens can benefit from pandemic-linked supply chain problems, said OEP.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the Dealflow.

Back in mid-July, I’d written about how one private equity partner had shared with me his worries about globalisation losing ground to populism and the difficulties that trend created for cross-border activity. Well, as with much in private equity, one firm’s obstacle is another’s opportunity.

Plastic pays. My colleague Nina Lindholm has a piece this morning about One Equity Partners’ plans for Clayens Group, a polymers, composites and precision metal parts provider headquartered in Genas, France.

The firm – and others – is benefitting from the trend for supply chains to go local, although not because of populism, but due to other forms of disruption.

“We are continuing to find attractive acquisition opportunities within the industrials sector,” OEP managing director Konstantin Ryzhkov told Nina. “The pandemic and resultant supply-chain disruptions have highlighted vulnerabilities and caused many companies to re-locate their supply chains more locally.”

A growing number of companies are reshoring supply chains from China back to Europe and the US, according to Ryzhkov. “We believe that outsourced contract manufacturers with facilities strategically located near its customers, such as Clayens, are poised to benefit from this tailwind.”

In late July, OEP announced it had agreed to acquire Clayens Group from a group of investors led by Siparex, which was selling its majority stake. Siparex, its co-investors and the management team will reinvest in Clayens as minority partners.

You can read Nina’s full interview with Ryzhkov here.

Not taking a bath. It’s a very humid day here in London so this deal report by my colleague David Wansboro yesterday really took my interest.

LDC announced on Monday that it has exited its investment in Aqualisa after seven years. Deerfield, Illinois-headquartered Fortune Brands Home & Security has picked up Aqualisa in a deal that values the company at £130 million. It will net LDC a near-threefold increase on its original investment.

Aqualisa, based in Westerham in Kent, UK, was founded in 1997. It is a designer, developer and producer of shower products. It invented the world’s first digital shower.

“Aqualisa is a great story of a British company at the forefront of product development, with a brand synonymous with premium quality and innovation,” said Rob Powell, partner at LDC. “After a successful seven-year partnership, becoming part of the Fortune Brands family is a perfect outcome and provides a global platform for its continued growth.”

LDC first invested in Aqualisa in 2015 to support its new product development and to aid its international expansion through new partnerships with distributors and customers across Europe.

Playing it safe. LDC’s sale of Aqualisa wasn’t the only exit this week. Cinven announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to sell Tractel, a Foetz, Luxembourg-based safety specialist that provides working-at-height solutions and services.

Alimak Group, a Stockholm-based provider of vertical access solutions for professional use, has agreed to purchase Tractel for an enterprise value of approximately €500 million.

Tractel was founded in 1941 and provides solutions and services used across the industrial, construction, energy, communications and infrastructure sectors.  It has operations globally including manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, Singapore and Turkey.

“Under Cinven’s ownership, Tractel has completed the acquisition of two significant businesses, successfully developing the brand and expanding the business,” said Pontus Pettersson, partner at Cinven. “This has reinforced the strategic value of Tractel, and helped position the business for a trade exit.”

That’s it from me – we’ll speak again on Thursday.