Wendel acquired Legrand in 2002 from one of its competitors, in equal shares with a co-shareholder, KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co).
Positioned in a highly fragmented global market with high entry barriers, Legrand is a leader specializing in the development of innovative solutions in the electrical, home automation, lighting management and energy efficiency segments.
From 2002 to 2013, Wendel made a major contribution to Legrand’s operational improvement and development, notably through a successful IPO in 2006 and more than 30 acquisitions, as well as a successful management succession. A growth strategy that enabled Legrand to increase its revenue by 55% between 2002 and 2012.
After eleven years in the company’s capital, Wendel sold its remaining shares (14.4 million, or 5.4% of the capital, at a price of €36 per share) in Legrand in June 2013 in order to materialize the success of its investment and undertake other projects. With proceeds from the sale of approximately €520 million, this transaction enabled Wendel to record a capital gain of approximately €370 million.
In total, from 2002 to 2013, Wendel invested €659 million in the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures and generated €2.5 billion in income from divestments and dividends over the period.
Wendel’s investment in Legrand generated an overall IRR of 19% and a multiple of 3.9x over eleven years.
The manager, Gilles Schnepp, has agreed to represent Wendel for several years on the Board of Directors of Saint-Gobain.