Warburg Pincus To Buy Survitec for £280 Million

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity firm Warburg Pincus is to buy survival equipment maker Survitec for 280 million pounds ($456 million), marking the third British buyout deal in as many days.

Warburg Pincus’s deal on Friday follows KKR’s buy of pet goods retailer Pets at Home and Advent International’s purchase of pensions consultancy Xafinity.

Warburg Pincus has been frontrunner to buy the Belfast-based supplier of lifeboats to the U.S. Navy and survival suits for Australian airforce pilots since early December, when Reuters reported it had overtaken rival Permira in the race to acquire the business.

Seller Montagu Private Equity bought Survitec in 2004 for 146 million pounds and has earned more than twice its initial equity investment, a source familiar with the situation said.

A consortium of banks including Lloyds, Bank of Ireland, HSBC, Unicredit, ING, GE and Societe Generale provided 130 million pounds in financing, leaving Warburg Pincus to inject the remaining 54 percent of the price in equity.

Close Brothers Corporate Finance and Ernst & Young advised Warburg Pincus on the deal. Rothschild and Deloitte advised Montagu. ($1=.6147 pounds)

(Reporting by Simon Meads; Editing by Greg Mahlich)