Riverside seals third European acquisition this month

The European mid-market remains active despite the credit crunch.

The Riverside Company has bought electromagnetic compatibility test manufacturer EM Test Group for an undisclosed sum.

EM Test’s devices test electronic equipment in the automotive, industrial, telecoms and other sector.

EM Test has had double-digit top line growth during the past three years, Riverside said. EM Test will continue to broaden its product range and it will strengthen its position in China and South East Asia, the firm said.

The acquisition is the sixth by Riverside in 2008 and the third in the last month by Riverside’s third European fund, which closed in July last year on €315 million. The firm bought public relations company M:Communications last month and proxy solicitation company D.F. King for $180 million (€123.9 million), according to a statement. The acquisitions were the start of Riverside stated plans to consolidate the communications industry.

Many other European mid-market firms have also been active doing deals since the New Year despite the problems in the worldwide credit markets. Cognetas and Englefield bought Morrison Utility Services from Anglian Water for £135 million ($271 million; €176.5 million) last week and Bridgepoint bought Pret a Manger last month for £345 million.

Last week HSBC Private Equity also completed its return to the UK buyout markets with its second deal in a month, buying Britton Group from UK private equity firm LDC for £77 million.