IPH, which generated revenues of almost €1.3bn in 2016, claims to be the leading industrial distributor in France and Italy, and number two in the Netherlands. It also claims to lead the German distribution market for power transmission products, and to be the second-largest supplier of these products in Spain. It employs more than 4,350 people, has more than 280 branches, and more than 100,000 customers.
IPH has 12 distribution networks including Zitec and Kistenpfennig in Germany, Orexad in France, Biesheuvel in the Netherlands, and Minetti in Italy. It also has operations in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland and Romania. It offers more 1.6 million product lines, has more than 15,000 suppliers, and sells some products under its own Giss brand.
In 2013, Paris-based PAI Partners acquired IPH from its previous owner, Investcorp, in a deal worth more than €210m.
Advent – which is in exclusive negotiations with PAI Partners about buying IPH – says that Brammer and IPH have complementary geographical coverage, product knowledge, and offerings. The proposed transaction is subject to customary approvals.
In February this year, Advent completed its purchase of Brammer, taking the business from public into private ownership, and paying £221.5m in cash for it. Brammer had warned last year that it would not make pre-tax profit in its full year, and that it would take at least three years to turn the business around.