Carlyle in 2.5x car seat maker exit

The firm has sold child car seat manufacturer Britax Childcare to Nordic Capital for £450m.

The Carlyle Group has sold children’s car seat manufacturer Britax Childcare to Stockholm-based growth capital investor Nordic Capital.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but a source close to Carlyle valued the transaction at approximately £450 million (€527 million; $717 million), earning the firm an exit multiple of between 2.5x and 3x.

Carlyle purchased Britax in 2005 for £230 million, investing from its second European buyout fund that closed on £1.5 billion in 2005. As of 31 March, the fund had an IRR of 19.8 percent and a return multiple of 1.4x, according to performance data from The California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

In the past five years, Britax’s annual revenue nearly doubled under Carlyle’s ownership.

“[Britax] is a business underpinned by regulatory and legislative drivers that have increased demand for Britax products, especially in emerging markets, as stricter car seat regulations have been adopted,” Carlyle managing director Andrew Burgess said in a statement.

The deal marks Carlyle’s eighth buyout transaction in Europe in 2010, following exits of AZ Electronics and software company FRS Global, and acquisitions of B&B Hotel Group and communications network company CommScope.

Nordic Capital invests primarily in mid-market Scandinavian and Northern European firms. It has a strong emphasis on healthcare, but invests across all industries and sectors.