CVC seeks to buy back Sweden’s Ahlsell, valuing firm at $2.7 billion: Reuters

CVC Capital Partners​ has launched a bid for Sweden’s Ahlsell (AHSL.ST) just two years after listing it, valuing the construction products and tools distributor at about 24 billion Swedish crowns ($2.65 billion).

The private equity firm, already Ahlsell’s biggest shareholder with a 25 percent stake, said on Tuesday it was offering 55 crowns per share in cash, a premium of 32.5 percent to Ahlsell’s closing price on Monday.

CVC, which is making the bid through Quimper AB, a CVC-backed entity, said it would not increase its offer.

Ahlsell said it would give an opinion on the bid no later than two weeks before the expiry of the acceptance period. Its shares jumped 31 percent in early trading.

CVC bought Ahlsell in 2012 and listed it two years ago, but – prior to Tuesday’s jump – it had been trading below the IPO price.

“Our experience and history with the company provides us with the ability to help it grow further across its core segments and industries, delivering top quality services and value for all stakeholders,” Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen, a managing partner at CVC, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the existing management team at Ahlsell and develop the company further under private ownership.”

CVC said Ahlsell had had a strong track record both under private and public ownership, but noted Ahlsell may be moving into a different phase of its business and economic cycle with a softer outlook for construction and industrial activity, and uncertainty in the overall domestic and global markets.

Ahlsell shares had dropped 21 percent in 2018 as of Monday’s closing price.