Sale of SPIE


Source: SPIE

PARIS, May 31, 2011 /PR Newswire/ --

An exclusivity agreement for the contemplated sale of SPIE has been granted by PAI partners to a consortium led by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice together with AXA Private Equity and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, for a total consideration of EUR 2.1 billion

On March 24, 2011, PAI partners and SPIE management jointly announced their intention to prepare the next phase of the development of the company and the evolution of its ownership.

Amongst the indications of interest received by PAI partners, the project that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and AXA Private Equity have developed with the management team, has emerged as the most attractive option. It ensures the development of the company, widely associating its employees to its success through an employee share ownership scheme.

In compliance with French law, SPIE management will now begin a consultation process with its works councils.

Gauthier Louette, SPIE's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: 'SPIE's management fully supports this project as it strengthens our position as a leading independent multi-technical services company, supports SPIE's future growth and allows for a broad employee share ownership program.'

Olivier de Vregille, a PAI partner, commented: 'Five years after PAI partners acquired SPIE, the company has grown dramatically - it has acquired more than 50 companies across Europe and its workforce has increased from 23,000 to almost 29,000 -; its operational profit has doubled. PAI partners selected the best acquisition proposal thereby ensuring that the interests and values of the company and its employees were at the heart of its new project.'

Roberto Quarta, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice partner commented: 'SPIE enjoys strong market positions and has an attractive risk profile. As an investor in Rexel, the global leader in electrical products distribution, we have a deep knowledge of SPIE's markets. We are highly confident in the resilience of SPIE's business model and its outstanding growth prospects. We are delighted to support the group's development in France and Europe.'

Dominique Gaillard, managing director of AXA Private Equity, stated: 'We have been very impressed by SPIE management's track-record. We have known them for several years - we have witnessed the company's growth and innovation path as well as its high reactivity especially during the recent downturn. We are excited to be in a position to contribute to this new phase of SPIE's development, with our partners from Clayton Dubillier & Rice together with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the historical partner of AXA private Equity.'

About SPIE

As the European leader in electrical and mechanical engineering and HVAC services, energy and communication systems, SPIE enhances the world around us and contributes to its development by helping local and regional authorities and companies design, build, operate and maintain greener, more energy-efficient facilities.

With 28,600 employees working from nearly 400 locations in 31 countries, in 2010 SPIE generated operating profit on ordinary activities of EUR192.3 million on turnover of EUR3.75 billion.

About PAI partners

PAI Partners is a leading European private equity firm with offices in Paris, Copenhagen, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan and Munich. PAI manages and advises dedicated buyout funds with an aggregate equity value of EUR 6 billion. Since 1998, PAI has completed 39 LBO transactions in 9 European countries, representing over EUR 36 billion in transaction value. PAI is characterised by its operational approach to ownership combined with industrial and sector expertise. PAI provides portfolio companies with the financial and strategic support required to pursue their development and enhance strategic value creation.

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Founded in 1978, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC is a private equity firm with an investment strategy predicated on producing superior financial returns through building stronger, more profitable businesses. The Firm's professionals include a combination of skilled investment decision-makers and seasoned corporate leaders from global businesses such as ABB, Allstate, BAE, BBA, BTR, Disney, Dow, Eaton Vance, Emerson Electric, Gap, GE, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Tesco, Unilever and Williams, among others. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of approximately $16 billion in 49 U.S. and European businesses with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $80 billion.

About Axa Private Equity

AXA Private Equity is a leading private equity firm with US$25 billion in managed assets and a global reach extending across Europe, North America and Asia. The firm offers investors the full spectrum of private equity services for every market segment: direct funds, infrastructure financing, mid cap and small cap buyouts, venture capital, co-investments, fund of funds as well as mezzanine financing.

With offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Singapore, Milan, Zurich and Vienna, AXA Private Equity supports the development and long-term growth of its portfolio companies with sustainable growth strategies and by granting them access to the AXA international network. AXA Private Equity has earned the trust of its investors by regularly supplying them with transparent performance data on its funds and portfolio companies.



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