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Capvis Sells German Switchmaker Bartec to Charterhouse

Capvis Equity Partners AG agreed to sell Bartec Holding GmbH, the German maker of explosion-resistant switching and signaling gear, to Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP of Britain.

Charterhouse bought the company for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement from Bartec. The transaction may value the company at more than 600 million euros ($737 million), said a person familiar with the process, who asked not to be identified because talks were confidential.

Charterhouse, which is based in London and manages 8 billion euros in capital, was competing with private equity firms including Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC and EQT Partners AB, as well as Honeywell International Inc., people familiar with the process said in June.

The electrical equipment industry has seen deals pick up since ABB Ltd. bought Thomas & Betts Corp. for $3.9 billion in January and Eaton Corp. announced in May that it would buy Cooper Industries Plc for $11.8 billion.

Commerzbank AG and William Blair & Co. managed the sale of Bartec, which Capvis purchased from Allianz Capital Partners in 2008. Charterhouse was advised by the U.S. investment bank Jefferies Group Inc.

Steel Enclosures

Bartec’s products, including stainless steel enclosures and controls as well as gas detection systems, are used by the chemical and oil and gas industries. The manufacturer, based in Bad Mergentheim, Germany, had sales of about 300 million euros in the fiscal year ending April 30.

“Together, we want to build Bartec into the world’s number one in explosion protection,” Charterhouse Partner Christian Fehling said in an e-mailed statement today. The new owner plans to invest in geographic expansion and new products, according to Bartec Chief Executive Officer Ralf Koester.

The sale of Bartec comes amid several private equity auctions of industrial assets. IK Investment Partners, a European buyout firm with Nordic roots, is selling Schenck Process GmbH, a German provider of industrial weighing, feeding, screening and automation equipment, people familiar have said previously.

KraussMaffei Group, the German maker of machinery for processing plastics that is owned by Madison Capital Partners, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find a buyer, people familiar with the process said.

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