Kartesia arranges mezz finance for French boiler acquisition

FCDE has acquired boiler maker Babcock Wanson in a deal believed to be valued at €57m. Kartesia secured a minority stake and committed the mezz finance.

European middle-market lender Kartesia Advisor has committed the mezzanine financing and secured a minority stake in boiler manufacturer Babcock Wanson following its acquisition by private equity group FCDE.

Kartesia’s stake is understood to be below 30 percent, although the firm declined to provide an exact figure. The mezzanine financing total was not disclosed.

The deal is the latest from Kartesia Credit Opportunities I fund, which held a final close last year on €507 million, surpassing its initial target of €400 million. The fund seeks ticket sizes of between €10 million and €50 million in companies with an EBITDA ranging from €5 million to €50 million. The target IRR for the fund is 12 to 15 percent.

Babcock Wanson produces medium-sized boilers used in chemical, pharmaceutical and food processing industries. Headquartered in France, but with a production unit in Italy, the company generates €90 million per annum and employs almost 600 people across Europe.

FCDE is a French firm that focuses on providing financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises based in France. According to a statement from both firms, the investment intends to strengthen the company’s key market position and allow it to lead further consolidation in the industry. Local media reported that the total acquisition price was €57 million.

Damien Scaillierez, founding partner of Kartesia Advisor, said: “Aside from the intrinsic qualities of Babcock Wanson and its highly motivated management team, we feel very excited to accompany FCDE as the sponsor in this new phase of the company’s history.”

Kartesia specialises in targeting investments in small and middle markets across Europe. The firm has €600 million assets under management and has invested in over 65 companies in France, Germany, the Nordic countries, Spain, Italy, Benelux and the UK.