3i sells stake in Tensar to US-based Tensar Corp.

22 May 2006

3i, Europe's leading private equity company, today announces it has sold its minority stake in Tensar, which provides innovative engineering solutions to a wide range of construction problems, to US-based Tensar Corp. in a £68m deal.

3i originally backed the MBO of Tensar in 1994 when it invested £7.2m alongside Electra Private Equity.  3i will receive proceeds of £22m which represent a 3x money multiple.

Since investing in Tensar, 3i has strengthened the management team with the appointment of Basil Jefferies and David Wilkinson as non-executive directors and Jim Park as chairman.  Using its network and local contacts, 3i also helped Tensar acquire its Chinese JV which manufactures and sells geogrids to the Chinese market.

Tensar is a worldwide leader, with over 20 years experience, in the provision and manufacture of best value civil engineering solutions for soil reinforcement and ground stabilisation, and installations in roads, railways, runways and embankments across the globe.

Ian Brown, 3i investment director, commented: "Tensar has been a good investment for us, generating a 3x return.  Putting Tensar UK and Tensar Corp. together is the next logical step in the company's expansion and will create a global business with production operations in the US, UK and China.  We wish the management well in further developing the business." 

Jim Park, Tensar chairman, commented: "3i has been a fantastic partner and has used its network to introduce management to us and explore business opportunities, particularly in China.  We are now entering the next phase of our growth and are looking forward to the many exciting market opportunities that we will encounter under Tensar Corp.'s ownership."

Ian Brown led the deal from 3i.  Nicky Higginbotham and Yunus Seedat of Addleshaw Goddard provided legal advice.

Notes to editors

About 3i 
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. 

Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

About Tensar  
Tensar International is a worldwide leader with over 20 years experience in the provision and manufacture of best value civil engineering solutions for soil reinforcement and ground stabilisation, and installations in roads, railways, runways and embankments across the globe.  Formerly the Netlon Group, Tensar International was founded in Blackburn, UK, in 1952.