Global manufacturer and distributer of low voltage electrical installations and data networks

Legrand was founded in Limoges, France in 1926 and first traded on the Paris stock exchange in 1970. In January 2001 Schneider made a successful tender offer for Legrand. However the EU antitrust authority ruled the merger anti-competitive and in December 2002 Schneider divested the company to a consortium of investors in a €5.1 billion transaction. Montagu invested €115 million for a 6.5% interest in the consortium led by Wendel and KKR.

Legrand was one of the global market leaders in the manufacture and distribution of low voltage electrical installations and data networks. It was the largest pure-play specialist with an 18% market share in wiring devices and a 15% market share in cable management. The company had a presence in 60 countries and made sales in over 160 countries.

Legrand performed strongly under private equity ownership. In the year to December 2005 sales reached €3.2 billion with EBITDA of €699 million. The increase in sales and profitability was driven by a number of value creation initiatives such as increased coverage in high growth markets, increased focus on product development, improvements in purchasing productivity and optimising working capital and capital expenditure.

In April 2006 Legrand was successfully listed on the Paris stock exchange. The offering was more than 30 times oversubscribed and the launch price valued our investment at
€305 million.

Deal details

Deal type: Management Buyout Investment Year: 2002 Country: France Status: Realised Value: €5.1 billion Industry Sector: Industrials