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Altor invests in retail DIY

The Nordic buyout firm has taken a majority stake in Sweden’s no-frills DIY retail company Byggmax.

Stockholm-based private equity firm Altor Equity Partners has acquired a majority shareholding in Swedish building materials retail chain Byggmax for an undisclosed sum.

Stefan Linder, a partner at Altor who led the deal, said in an interview that the firm had acquired a significant majority stake in Byggmax, but declined to comment on the price or details of the financial structure. The deal is expected to complete by the end of January 2006.

Linder: Byggmax outperforming retail DIY market

The three members of Bygmaxx’s senior management, including CEO Stig Notlöv, will retain a minority stake and continue in their current roles.

The transaction was made from Altor’s €650 million ($769 million) debut Altor 2003 fund. The firm told PEO in late September that the vehicle was 60 to 70 percent invested following its last deal, a NOK586 million (€74 million; $87 million) investment in Simrad Yachting, a Norwegian boating electronics company.

Linder declined to comment on the current status of the 2003 fund or any future fundraising plans.

Linder said that Byggmax had been selected after a period of analysing retail DIY in Sweden. “We reviewed this sector and established that Byggmax is a leading and winning concept that is growing considerably faster than the market itself,” he said. “We chose the company as a platform for growth, but more from an organic perspective than through acquisitions.”

Other markets would not be ruled out, added Linder, but the strategy for Byggmax would focus solely on Sweden for the time being.

Altor was advised on the transaction by Vinge (legal) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (financial), while Byggmax was advised by Catella Retail.

Byggmax is a no-frills discount DIY retailer selling products from outlets in 27 locations in Sweden. According to a statement from the firm, the company’s sales have grown by around 50 percent per year since 1995 and it currently has an annual turnover of over Skr1 billion (€106 million; $125 million).