Carlyle Acquires Spanish Certification Group Applus+; The Largest Investment Undertaken by a Private Equity Fund in Spain
Barcelona - The private equity firm The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”) has agreed today the acquisition of Applus (“the Company”) from its shareholders Agbar, Unión Fenosa and Caja Madrid for an enterprise value of €1,480 million. With headquarters in Barcelona, the Company is the leader in inspection, certification, testing and technological services in Spain.
Fueled by strong organic growth and several acquisitions over the last years, the Company has significantly diversified its business mix and geographic footprint. As of today, Applus is present in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Pedro de Esteban, Carlyle Managing Director Europe, was “thrilled with the acquisition of Applus, one of the most important companies in the European certification sector and the market leader in Auto Vehicle Inspection in Spain and worldwide”. As for the future of the Company, De Esteban stated that the goal is to “consolidate it as a platform for sectoral and global growth, keeping the headquarters in Barcelona and relying on the current management team, a group of extraordinary professionals that have our trust and support.”
On 11th June 2007, Carlyle reached a partnership agreement with Caixa Catalunya, under which the latter will take a 25% equity stake in Applus. Caixa Catalunya will lead a group of well-known local institutional investors that have expressed their interest in the transaction and with whom it is currently in advanced negotiations. Among them are Caixa Manresa, Caixa Terrassa, Caixa Sabadell, Caixa Tarragona, RACC, and Caixa Girona.
Joaquim Coello, CEO of Applus, explained that “Carlyle’s investment is an endorsement of the management team’s business plan and a gesture of support to the company’s employees. It constitutes an opportunity to initiate a new stage that will enable Applus to make an important leap forward in our growth and leadership ambitions.”
With regards to the buyers’ plan, Alex Wagenberg, Managing Director at Carlyle, stated that “the support of Carlyle and a selected group of financial institutions will allow the Company to undertake future investments that will consolidate Applus as a market leader in the segment, just as we are doing with Orizonia.”
Applus is currently in an excellent position to grow in each and every one of the sectors in which it operates. Particularly important given their growth prospects are the Vehicle Inspection Division in the USA and the Non-Destructive Testing division, that hopes to see its leadership position consolidated following the acquisition of companies in Europe and America.
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