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3i invests in Azelis

3i, the European leader in private equity, announces the finalisation of an agreement which will see them taking a 72 million euros stake in Azelis, a pan-European company distributing speciality chemicals.

Through this transaction, based on an Azelis enterprise value of 315 million euros, 3i will acquire an over 60% stake in Azelis, which will allow the previous investor, Cognetas (formerly Electra), to realise their entire investment.

Marco Fumagalli, managing director of 3i Italia, commented,  “We are especially happy about our investment in Azelis, because this is a company that was able to secure a leading position in the sector, and because it has a first-rate management team at the helm.  These factors are what aroused our interest and prompted the investment, after we tapped our network of international contacts, who were able to understand the complex, cross-border nature of an organisation like Azelis.  We plan to continue supporting the company’s growth strategy and consolidation on an international level, including through a policy of targeted acquisitions.”

In addition to the investment, 3i has appointed Andrew H. Simon, a manager with considerable experience in the chemical sector, as Chairman, and has given Lorenzo Salieri, a 3i Italia partner, a seat on the Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Udo Wenzel, Azelis CEO, remarked:

“Azelis was founded in 1996 by its current CEO, Udo Wenzel, and by the end of 2005 comprised 25 companies operating in Benelux, the UK, Germany, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Ukraine, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and the Baltic Stages, in addition to Italy and France.  Revenues have grown from 348 million euros in 2001 to 840 million euros in 2005.”

About 3i

Listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994, 3i is a world leader in Private Equity and Venture Capital.  It has operated in the market since 1945, and is one of the top 100 companies by market capitalisation, and amongst the 250 largest listed companies in Europe.  From its incorporation until today, 3i has invested over 25 billion euros through a network of offices located around the world.  3i has a direct presence in Europe’s major international markets, with offices in Italy, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark, and operates in the US and Asia. 

During the fiscal year ended 31st March 2006, 3i invested 1.6 billion euros, including 674 million in buyouts, 713 million in growth capital, and 224 million in venture capital.

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