Consortium Buys Spie in $3B Deal

A consortium including private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Axa Private Equity and Canada’s Caisse des Depots du Quebec will acquire French engineering group Spie in a deal valuing it at 2.1 billion euros ($3 billion), Reuters reported. The group is buying the electrical and mechanical engineering firm from French private equity group PAI Partners.

(Reuters) – A consortium including private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice and a unit of French insurer AXA has agreed to acquire French engineering group Spie in a deal valuing it at 2.1 billion euros ($3 billion).

French private equity group PAI Partners, which said in March it was considering a possible sale of the electrical and mechanical engineering firm, confirmed a deal to sell it to a group including CD&R, Axa Private Equity and Canada’s Caisse des Depots du Quebec.

Spie said in a statement that the CD&R deal was one of several indications of interest it received and would be positive for the company’s prospects because of an employee share ownership scheme that would link pay to performance.

Spie’s chief executive, Gauthier Louette, had told reporters in March that in the long run he favoured an initial public share offer for the company.

PAI Partners has sold various portfolio companies in recent months, including a 50 percent stake in yoghurt maker Yoplait and Italian clothing retailer Gruppo Coin .

The deal was first reported by French daily Le Figaro.

($1=.7000 euros)

(Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by Greg Mahlich)