UTT acquired by AIM-listed Interbulk Investments plc in Reverse Takeover

28 Feb 2006

3i, Europe's leading private equity and venture capital company, today announces the sale of Rotterdam-headquartered United Transport Tankcontainers Holdings B.V. (UTT), the international tank container operator, to AIM-listed Interbulk Investments plc (Interbulk) in a €67m (debt and cash free basis) Reverse Takeover deal. 

UTT specialises in the worldwide door-to-door transportation by tankcontainer of hazardous chemical and food bulk liquids.  The company operates from 13 offices throughout Europe, North and South America, the Far East and Africa.  

Interbulk is an investing company formed in December 2004.  Interbulk also acquired, as part of the transaction, the entire share capital of Inbulk Technologies Limited (InBulk), which has developed innovative technology that allows dry bulk materials to be moved efficiently in a form of tank container.  The enlarged Group is well-positioned as a global, full-solution provider for the movement of bulk commodities.

3i backed the MBO of UTT from parent company United Transport International in November 2002 as part of a transaction which secured UTT's independence from its UK parent.  In addition to providing funding, 3i introduced Rients Visser as Chairman and executed a substantial organic growth programme alongside management.  UTT is now one of the world's largest tank container operators with a fleet of over 6,000 containers operating worldwide. 

Koert van Wissen and Roel Molenaar, UTT's CEO and CFO respectively, commented: "3i has been a valued investor over the last 3 years and has strongly supported the development of UTT.  The combination of UTT with InBulk is a fantastic deal for us.  Our logistics skills and network in the area of liquid chemicals are highly complementary with InBulk's expertise in transporting solid materials and we look forward to being part of the enlarged group".

Mark Redman, an Amsterdam-based Partner in 3i's European buyout business commented: "UTT has been a great investment for 3i.  Since 3i invested, the company has grown its profits significantly and has expanded its network and fleet size to confirm its position as the number three tank container operator in the world.  This transaction enables 3i to realise the significant value created during the life of our investment, equating to a 2.6x money multiple and 40% IRR, whilst allowing UTT to become part of a larger organisation with extensive synergy opportunities."

3i was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance, Amsterdam (Andries Mak Van Waay, David Payne) and Allen & Overy, Amsterdam (Justin Steer, Karine Kodde).  UTT management were advised by Geordie Corporate Finance (Liz Schaefer) and Visser & Steenberghe Advocaten (Rinse Visser).

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.

3i Benelux, which has been operating since 1998, has invested over €1.6bn to date.  The buyout team leads mid-market buyouts up to €1bn using insight from our local knowledge, international connections and our sector teams.  The growth capital team focuses on investing minority stakes in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition. 

The current portfolio of 11 companies includes Aviapartner, one of Europe's leading independent ground handlers, Refresco, one of the leading European producers of fruit juices and soft drinks for European retailers, Hyva, a leading hydraulic solutions provider to the commercial vehicle sector and van Wijnen, a major construction and project development company.  The most recent and successful exit is YBR, a leading European directory services provider, which was sold for €1.825 million to a consortium led by Macquarie Capital Alliance Group.