Dirickx Family Buys Back Company from PE Firms

3i Group and Crédit Agricole Private Equity have agreed to sell their minority stake in Dirickx, a UK-based maker of perimeter protection products, to the Dirickx family (which now will hold 100%). No financial terms were disclosed.


3i and Crédit Agricole Private Equity are to sell their minority stake in Dirickx, the international specialist in perimeter protection (fencing, railings, gates etc.) to the Dirickx family, which will consequently own 100% of the group.

Jacques Dirickx, representing the third generation of the family, sold shares in the group’s capital in August 2004 to a group of investors headed by Crédit Agricole Private Equity and including 3i, Sigefi Private Equity and Sodero Participations. This had two main aims: to reclassify part of the family shareholding and to finance the group’s expansion, particularly outside France.

During five years of working together, the Dirickx group has seen rapid growth:
– Strengthening of its position in China, where it had already been present for 10 years, with the construction of a 14,000 m² production plant near Beijing;
– Acquisition of Kelcom in Slovakia, renamed Quadriq in 2006, giving the company access to security markets in Eastern Europe;
– Strengthening of its position in France with the acquisition of a number of installers in order to diversify its networks (Espace Protect).

Founded in 1921 in Congrier (Mayenne), the Dirickx group is currently No. 1 in France and one of the market leaders in Europe in perimeter protection, offering a broad range of products (fencing, industrial gates) and services (installation, maintenance, engineering) in the areas of site delimitation, closure and control. It generated sales of €161 million in 2009 and has 1,165 employees.

Jacques Dirickx, Chairman of the group, comments: “The targets set in 2004 with my investors have been fully achieved. Dirickx has remained independent but has benefited from the support of top-ranking financial shareholders, who have helped us to implement an effective organisational structure to accompany our growth and have supported us actively in our expansion strategy in Europe and Asia.”

Philippe Zurawski, LBO & Expansion Director at Crédit Agricole Private Equity, adds: “Over the last five years, we have played a driving role in the strategic review and structuring of Dirickx. This deal marks the end of an exemplary relationship between financial partners and a team of managers. It has enabled us to achieve an IRR of over 20% while also offering the family shareholders the possibility of owning the group’s entire share capital.”

Antoine Faguer, Director at 3i, states: “During our six years together, the Dirickx group has almost doubled in size thanks to the talent of its managers and the quality of the partnership and dialogue between shareholders. This deal is symbolic of what 3i can offer a fast-growing family-owned group that wants to develop its organisational structure and expand internationally.”

About 3i
3i is an international investor focused on buyouts, growth capital and infrastructure, investing in Europe, Asia and North America. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio, shareholders and fund investors.

In France, 3i recently invested in Labco (European network of medical laboratories) and Vedici (network of private clinics). 3i has extensive experience as a minority shareholder in family owned companies, in particular supporting the development of Prosol-Grand Frais, Kneip-La Cote Bleue, Senoble, and more recently Vedici. http:// www.3i.com

About Crédit Agricole Private Equity
Crédit Agricole Private Equity is an AMF-accredited asset-management subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, specialising in direct private-equity investment in non-listed companies.

A multi-specialist player, Crédit Agricole Private Equity’s team of 95 professionals manages €3 billion with specific expertise in LBO & Expansion, Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Co-Investment, Renewable Energy and PPP Infrastructure.

Crédit Agricole Private Equity has signed up to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). www.ca-privateequity.com