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Baird Capital Partners Europe closes first deals of 2007

Baird Capital Partners Europe is closing its first two deals of 2007, backing the €156m management buyout of an aluminium products manufacturer, and selling a plastics manufacturer.

Baird Capital Partners Europe, the European mid-market private equity arm of investment banking and wealth management firm Robert W. Baird & Co., has backed a €156 million ($202 million) management buyout of Zarges Tubesca Group, a European aluminium-based products manufacturer, a statement said. 

Zarges: platform for growth in China

The management remains significant shareholders in the Zarges, which makes aluminium-based platform and elevator products for industry, airports and wind power equipment.  Zarges is a secondary buyout, which was acquired from AlpInvest Partners, a private equity firm.

Simon Havers, managing director of Baird Capital Partners Europe, said: “There is opportunity for growth in the German domestic market and with Baird’s activity in China, there is opportunity for growth there.”

Zarges has its offices in Weilheim, Germany and Ailly, France.

Metzler and Ernst & Young are providing financial services to Baird while Freshfields is giving legal advice.

Baird has also sold Hahl to Lenzing Plastics, a subsidiary of Lenzing, an Austrian cellulose-based fibre producer, for an undisclosed amount. Baird backed the management buyout of Hahl in April 2003 from its US-based parent company.

Hahl, based in Munderkingen, Germany, produces fibres for synthetic brushes, bristles and canvas.

Havers said: “The opportunity for us to add value to the business was enormous because it was a typical family-run business with the potential to professionalise.”

Watson Farley Williams is giving legal advice to Baird.

The sale is subject to regulatory approval.

The deals are Baird Capital Partners Europe’s first two transactions of 2007.  The firm’s last deal was in November, when it sold Traffic Support, a parking enforcement company, to Mouchel Parkman, an integrated support services company, for £21.5 million. The firm made a 3.5 times return on its original investment.

Baird Capital Partners Europe has more than €750 million of funds under management and targets the manufactured products, business services and healthcare sectors.