February 29, 2012 / 9:04 AM / 7 years ago

CVC to buy Nordic group Ahlsell for $2.4 billion

LONDON/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - CVC Capital Partners CVC.UL is to buy Nordic construction products and machinery distributor Ahlsell from Cinven and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners (GS.N) for 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion), in Europe’s biggest private equity deal since last summer.

“Our acquisition of Ahlsell offers an exciting platform for growth, both organically and through acquisitions,” CVC partners Peter Tornquist and Soren Vestergaard-Poulsen said on Wednesday.

Ahlsell has 4,500 employees, with more than 220 outlets in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Russia.

It specializes in providing goods and services in heating, plumbing, electricals, tools and machinery. In 2011, Ahlsell made a profit before interest, depreciation and amortization of 192 million euros on revenue of 2.3 billion euros.

The deal is Europe’s biggest buyout since BC Partners BCPRT.UL agreed to buy Swedish cable company Com Hem in July. It is also the first big deal in a string of expected private equity sales in the region this year which include toilet and bath maker Sanitec, owned by EQT, and installation services firm Bravida, owned by Triton.

Goldman Sachs and Nordea advised Cinven and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners on the deal. Deutsche Bank advised CVC. Financing was led by Nordea, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, DNB Nor and Danske Bank.

Reuters reported last month that CVC was in exclusive talks to buy Ahlsell. ($1=0.7450 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sven Nordenstam; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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