UK private equity firm 3i brushes up €102m from cosmetic business sale

William Turvill
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German company Geka makes cosmetic brushes

Private equity group 3i has announced the sale of a German company which makes cosmetic brushes.

Geka has been sold to Swiss company Sulzer, which specialises in "pumping solutions, rotating equipment services, and separation and mixing technology", for €178m (£149m).

The UK-listed company made €102m from today’s transaction as well as €23m from a refinancing in 2015. The firm said this represented a 1.8 times return.

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Geka was founded in 1925, is headquartered in Bechhofen, Germany, and has around 900 staff.

It was described by 3i as "the world’s leading manufacturers of brushes, applicators and complete packaging systems for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries".

3i and funds managed by 3i invested in the company in April 2012, acquiring a majority stake from private equity fund Halder.

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Ulf von Haacke, 3i's managing director and head of industrials, said: "Since our investment in Geka, the company has significantly improved its operating efficiency, expanded its international reach and broadened its offering – in particular with regard to decoration products, full-service supply and the expansion into the healthcare business.

"It was a pleasure to support GEKA on its growth path, and we are confident that GEKA has an exciting future ahead."

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