Business news : Private equity firm to acquire Marelli, the Italian engine manufacturer

photo Reuters
Carlyle Agrees to Buy Motor-Maker Marelli for $280 Million

Carlyle Group LP (CG) has agreed to acquire motor-maker Marelli Motori from Melrose Industries PLC (MLSPY, MRO.LN) for 212 million euros ($279.71 million).

Private-equity firms such as Carlyle buy companies--often with borrowed funds and smaller sums of their own money--then aim to fix operations and sell them at a profit.

Carlyle Europe Partners III LP, a 5.3 billion euro fund that makes mid- and large-cap investments, will fund the purchase.

Marelli Motori is one of the world's largest manufacturers of industrial generators and electric motors. The company serves the power generation, marine, oil and gas and industrial manufacturing markets. It is based in Arzignano, Italy, and has production plants in Italy and Malaysia, as well as sales, service and distribution offices in Germany, the U.K., Spain, the U.S. and South Africa.
Last year, Marelli's revenue rose 13% to EUR149.1 million ($196.72).

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Carlyle was among potential buyers interested in taking a controlling stake in the education unit of Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Positivo in the next few months. And last month, Carlyle Group disclosed that it will buy stakes in two Chinese shopping malls owned by SZITIC Commercial Property Co. Ltd.

Also in May, Carlyle Group reported a $34 million first-quarter profit as the private-equity firm exited a number of investments and continued to raise funds for future buyouts.

Carlyle's earnings were driven by a number of investment exits, including the sale of its remaining shares in China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co. (2601.HK, 601601.SH) earlier this year. The investment firm also sold shares it owned in Nielsen Holdings NV (NLSN), Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) and SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. (SSNC), and reaped proceeds from ownership stakes in Japan's Broadleaf Co. (3673.TO) when it went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Shares closed Wednesday at $26.49 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. The stock has risen 21% in the past 12 months.

By Saabira Chaudhuri through WSJ
Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at saabira.chaudhuri@dowjones.com

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