Advent International

Global Highlights 2013/14


Industrial is a largely capex-intensive and cyclical sector. However, individual sub-sectors and regions respond to diverse trends, offering pockets of growth largely independent of the macro-challenges. New energy sources, such as shale oil and gas, offer continued growth, while housing in the US is being driven by recovery; mining, on the other hand, is suffering headwinds from the Chinese super-cycle. Our approach is to look for growth where we have extensive networks and knowledge, building sustainable business models that incorporate the cycle, but are not dependent on the cycle for growth. We favor deal structures such as corporate carve-outs, emerging market expansion, and strategic repositioning that play to our investment strengths.

Currently, we target three main areas: In oil and gas services, strong demand and dynamic technological changes offer exciting opportunities, in particular in horizontal and directional drill rigging for extracting oil and gas. In chemicals and materials, restructuring Western markets has led to consolidation prospects, Oxea is a good example. Many Asian and Latin American markets are also ripe targets for expansion. In building products, under-invested businesses offer operational improvement opportunities supported by a general market recovery.

Global growth is the overarching theme of much of our investment activity, with emerging markets increasing in importance as they play a role in both production and demand. Our recent investment in Ocensa in Colombia supports this strategy. Conversely, with ongoing industrialization and low costs of labor, emerging market competitors are growing in size and becoming international competitors, so it is very important, not only to understand the cycle of each sub-sector, but also to understand the basis of incipient competition.

Beyond our maintenance sourcing cells, we are also looking at capital goods for carve-out and international expansion opportunities; and distribution services, where we see the potential for industry consolidation and operational improvement. Mining is a new area we are developing in 2014. The sector faces change and over-capacities, but as proactive, experienced investors, we believe interesting opportunities often result from change.

See our Industrial investments