Fives (formerly Fives-Lille) is a 100-year-old industrial engineering group which designs and produces manufacturing process equipment. The group primarily operates in the metal, automotive, energy and cement industries, where it is a market leader.
In 2004, the Group was acquired in a secondary MBO led by Equistone with a strategy to expand both through internal and external growth.
Strong organic growth, combined with the acquisition of Landis Grinding Systems, a USA based machine tool business specialising in grinding machines for the automotive industry, enabled group revenue to grow from €700m to €1.1bn between 2003 and 2006.
In July 2006, Charterhouse Capital Partners invested in Fives-Lille. On this occasion, several minority shareholders sold their stake in Fives-Lille and Equistone realised part of its 2004 investment, while remaining a significant shareholder of the group.
Between 2006 and 2012, group revenue grew to c. €1.5bn thanks to internal growth and to five add-on acquisitions, two of which, Namco in July 2008 and Bronx in December 2010, being significant.
The financial shareholders sold their stake in Fives to Axa Private Equity, in a deal where the group management reinvested significantly.