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American Capital buys French radiation firm

The publicly traded business development company has acquired France’s synOdys Group for $72 million in its second-largest investment to date.

Maryland-based American Capital, a publicly traded business development company, has bought 80 percent of French synOdys Group from Acland Capital Investissement and company management for $72 million (€59 million).

Under the terms of the deal, American Capital’s investment takes the form of senior debt, senior and junior subordinated debt, and common and redeemable preferred equity. The BDC will also provide a revolving credit facility.

American Capital managing directors Robert Klein and Brian Graff co-led the investment, which is the firm’s second-largest to date; the BDC’s $74 million investment in Directed Electronics is its biggest thus far.

As part of the transaction, Paris-based Acland and synOdys management also acquired an ownership interest in Global Dosimetry Solutions, an American Capital portfolio holding, and are maintaining a significant equity interest in synOdys, according to a statement.

synOdys is a global manufacturer and distributor of radiation detection equipment. The company’s products are designed to protect people and goods from nuclear, biological and chemical risks. In 2003, the company recorded sales of more than $80 million.

In the year to date, American Capital has invested more than $500 million, and more than $1.1 billion over the last 12 months, according to a statement. The BDC made news in April when its Los Angeles head, Jeri Harman, left after four years with the firm to join its rival, Washington, DC-based Allied Capital.