Firm Represents PAI partners in €2.1 billion Contemplated Sale of SPIE

June 1, 2011

PAI partners grants exclusivity agreement for the contemplated sale of French engineering company SPIE to a consortium led by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

On May 31, it was announced that Willkie client PAI partners has granted an exclusivity agreement for the contemplated sale of French engineering company SPIE to a consortium led by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice together with France’s AXA Private Equity and Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for €2.1 billion ($3 billion).  In the five years since PAI acquired SPIE (in which Willkie advised), the company has had significant growth, acquiring more than 50 companies across Europe, increasing its workforce from 23,000 to almost 29,000, and doubling its operational profits.  SPIE is a leader in electrical and mechanical engineering and HVAC services, energy and communication systems.

PAI partners, a leading European private equity firm, manages and advises dedicated buyout funds with an aggregate equity value of €6 billion.  Over the past several months Willkie advised PAI in its contemplated sale of French loan insurance broker CEP, its contemplated €535 million acquisition of equipment hire company Kiloutou, the $1.1 billion sale of its 50 percent stake in Yoplait to General Mills, and its pending $1 billion sale of UK automotive repair company Kwik-Fit Group Ltd. to Japanese trading house Itochu Corp.

The current deal was handled by partners Cedric Hajage, Daniel Payan, Christophe Garaud and Jacques-Philippe Gunther; special European counsel Paul Lombard; and associates Brice Pommies, Brice Voillequin and Lionela Nizet.