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 € 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, historical partner of AXA Private Equity.”