The Deal: Equistone Severs Ties With Computerlinks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Private equity shop Equistone Partners Europe announced an agreement, Wednesday, Aug. 28, to sell German IT technology distributor Computerlinks AG to Arrow Electronics ( ARW) in a deal valuing the business at ¿230 million ($308 million).

Equistone bought a majority stake in Munich-based Computerlinks in 2008 and the following year took it private, delisting the stock from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Equistone, formerly Barclays Private Equity, acquired the business through its third fund, and said it had been able fully to retire its acquisition loan over the course of its investment. The private equity firm, which is currently investing Fund IV, said Computerlinks will have doubled its revenue between 2008 and the end of 2013. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval expected to close in the final quarter of this year.

Equistone declined to discuss its returns on the deal, arguing that it could not disclose any further information because the buyer was a listed company.

Arrow, of Englewood, Colo., a Fortune 500 components and computer systems distributor, said the acquisition would be 20 cents to 24 cents accretive to earnings per share in the first year following completion, excluding the impact of the amortization of related intangible assets.

"This acquisition supports our strategy to serve the data center of the future and strengthens our position in this rapidly growing segment," said Arrow Chairman, President and CEO, Michael J. Long in a statement.

Computerlinks is a distributor of IT security, network performance and Internet technology, offering services, training and support and products from global hardware manufacturers and software and service providers. The company has 720 employees operating in 22 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. It increased revenue from about ¿540 million in the fiscal year ended 2008 to about ¿940 million in the 2012 fiscal year. It is budgeting revenue of ¿1.1 billion for the current year. (On a U.S. GAAP basis, revenue was $800 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $950 million in 2013).

The deal is Equistone's second in Germany this month, following the acquisition of tire industry cutting systems manufacturer Karl Eugen Fischer GmbH from Germany-focused private equity firm Equita Management GmbH for an undisclosed price.

Equistone's Michael H. Bork, Oskar Schilcher and Marc Arens were advised by New York investment banking boutique Excel Partners and by the law firm Ashurst.

-- Written by Jonathan Braude in New York

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