Apax grabs car parts supplier Rhiag

Apax grabs car parts supplier Rhiag

Apax Partners LLP announced an agreement, Wednesday, Oct. 9, to acquire Italian auto parts supplier Rhiag-Inter Auto Parts Italia SpA from Luxembourg private equity firm Groupe Alpha and its Italian advisory company Alpha Associati Srl.

No financial terms were disclosed, although Apax said BNP Paribas SA and Credit Suisse will provide financing for the transaction.

Apax also said that, as a result of the deal, Rhiag and Lanchester SA, Alpha's holding vehicle for the company, had decided to withdraw the launch of €195 million ($263.5 million) of senior secure notes and €155 million of senior PIK toggle notes. The London private equity firm did not immediately reply to a request for further information on its financing plans.

Based in Bergamo, Italy, Rhiag is an international distributor and vendor of spare parts for cars and industrial vehicles in the independent aftermarket. Its main markets are Italy, Switzerland and six countries in Eastern Europe: the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania. Rhiag also offers value-added services and specialized training modules to its clients and garages

Alpha bought its stake in Rhiag in July 2007, and said on its website that, following the buyout, it had focused on restructuring money-losing businesses within the Rhiag group and improving working capital. In 2010, Rhiag acquired Czech auto parts distributor Auto Kelly AS for an undisclosed amount.

Milan, Italy-based corporate finance boutique Fineurop Soditic SpA acted as financial adviser to Apax, Mediobanca SpA and Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisers to Rhiag. Legance, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Ashurst LLP provided legal advice to Apax. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provided legal advice to Rhiag.


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