3i exits logistics company investment

The UK private equity firm sold its stake in trucking company Transports Alloin to a Swiss logistics group that is looking to expand in France.

UK private equity firm 3i has sold its 28.5 percent stake in trucking company Transports Alloin to Swiss logistics group Kuhne + Nagel. The firm did not provide financial details.

3i purchased its shares in the family-owned French transport and logistics company in 2006, with revenue in the last two years growing by 50 percent to nearly €300 million. 3i designed a structure enabling Jean-Louis Alloin to take control of the company with 53 percent of the shares, with management holding 18.5 percent.

Alloin will retain his position as chairman following the deal, which is expected to close in January 2009 following approval by EU competition authorities. Xavier Urbain, a member of Kuhne + Nagel’s executive committee, said in a statement that the deal for Transports Alloin would help further its expansion into France.

3i, which invests up to €250 million in mid-market emerging companies in Europe, Asia, and North America, has also successfully exited companies including France’s Sonoble, Sweden’s Alimak Hek and the UK’s Williams Lea and Hayley Conference Centres.

The firm today announced it was moving away from early stage investing and would focus instead on its private equity and infrastructure businesses. As a result it was closing its venture capital office in Menlo Park at the end of the year.