3i strengthens its focus on general industrial with investment in Uponor UK
3i, a world leader in mid-market private equity, and funds managed by 3i, have completed a deal to back the buyout of Uponor UK Ltd, the UK’s market leading manufacturer of thermoplastic pipe systems to the gas, water and telecommunications industries, for £100m from its Finnish parent, Uponor Oy. Following the transaction, the company will be renamed Radius Systems Limited.
3i’s network and experience of the general industrials sector were key to unlocking the deal and will assist Radius in consolidating its leading UK position and in accelerating its international expansion plans.. 3i has deep knowledge of the relevant UK and Irish utilities markets, having recently invested in Enterprise, a provider of key support services to utility companies and local authorities in the UK.
Radius is a leading manufacturer of high quality innovative infrastructure pipe solutions to the gas, water and telecommunication utility markets. Infrastructure spend in the gas and water industries is characterised by robust, long-term drivers of growth underpinned by regulatory requirements and the requirement to replace, upgrade or extend ageing networks. Radius currently has a market leading position in the UK and Ireland and has expansion plans into the high growth areas of the Far East, Middle East and US.
3i has introduced Alan Fletcher to the Board as Non-Executive Chairman. Alan has a strong skill set in international manufacturing businesses having worked at Swedish Match (Wilkinson Sword Group); Helix Industries; and Extec, the world leading manufacturer of mobile screening and crushing technology, a previous 3i portfolio company.
Keven Parker, Partner, 3i Buyouts commented: “Radius is a high quality business. It has a strong management team which has built a market leading position in the UK and Ireland. We look forward to supporting Radius in further strengthening its position in its core markets as well as entering new markets.”
Stuart Godfrey, CEO Radius, said: “We are committed to maintaining our leading position in the sector and with 3i’s involvement we will be able to capitalise on the market prospects ahead of us. 3i has an in-depth understanding of the utilities markets in the countries in which we operate; furthermore, 3i’s international contacts will be invaluable to us when fulfilling our ambition of further internationalising the business.”
3i’s buyouts business is a leader in the European mid-market. We lead mid-market buyouts of companies valued at up to around €1bn, using insight from our local knowledge, international connections, and our sector teams. With over €8bn of funds under management and an existing portfolio of over 60 companies across Europe, 3i Buyouts invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare, consumer, business services, financial services, general industrial and oil, gas & power. In 2006, 3i Buyouts raised Eurofund V, which at €5bn, represents the largest fund in Europe dedicated to mid-market buyouts. Recent investments include Agent Provocateur (UK) and Global Garden Products (Italy) and recent exits include Coor Service Management (Nordic) and the IPO of Telecity (UK).