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Axa Private Equity sells roofing business for €300m

French private equity firm Axa has sold a French roofing business from its buyout fund III portfolio to a publicly-listed British construction and supplies company.

The private equity arm of the French insurance giant Axa is selling French roofing business Larivière for €300 million ($ 404 million) to Sig, a UK insulation and roof construction business.

Axa Private Equity bought the roofing products distributor for €155 million from minerals group Imerys in April 2005.

According to Philippe Poletti, director of Axa Private Equity, Axa introduced a plan of centralisation and expansion to take Larivière’s presence across France by opening 17 new branches.

Poletti said the investment was made from buyout fund III which is nearly entirely invested. It is the first exit from fund III.  Fundraising for the next vehicle would start soon he said.

Sig will continue the expansion programme using the management already in place according to chief executive David Williams. He said that an auction had taken place against trade buyers. Sig will fund the transaction by a £150 million (€220 million, $296 million) share placement plus its usual debt facility.  

Larivière’s turnover is €340 million up from €290 million in 2004.