Orefi (now renamed Rubix) is a leading specialist distributor of industrial supplies in Europe. It distributes a wide range of industrial products such as power transmission supplies, cutting tools and abrasives, fixings and adhesives and personal protection equipment.

Our investment

We invested in Orefi with the aim to further consolidate the market, which was highly fragmented in Europe at the time. We identified Orefi as a solid platform with a proven track record of identifying and integrating small and medium-sized industrial supplies companies.

Orefi was also effectively a federation of semi-autonomous businesses that needed to be fully integrated into a group.

Value creation

We swiftly embarked upon a buy and build strategy, which led to 23 acquisitions in France during our ownership. Orefi also launched in the Netherlands in 2000 with the acquisition of Biesheuvel.

We worked with the management on the integration of the existing business; we made tangible improvements at various levels, notably purchasing and logistics, which resulted in a positive impact on working capital.

To prepare for the next stage of the company’s development we appointed Pierre Pouletty as chief executive officer in 2002, replacing Marcel Sengelin, who became semi-executive chairman.

Meanwhile, we established a financing structure to fund acquisitions. We refinanced banking facilities to allow more flexibility in the financing of small acquisitions, and through the 2002 to 2004 economic downturn we provided an equity facility to continue to fund acquisitions.


We launched a sale process in January 2006 that involved trade and private equity bidders.

The scale and network coverage of Orefi made it an attractive target for the main trade players in the French market, and in June 2006, AD Group, a French rival to Orefi, bought the business for €117.3m in a transaction that triggered another wave of consolidation deals. The sale generated the equivalent of 1.8x our investment.





Investment date


Exit date


Deal size (exit)



Mid-market fund






Key facts

23 add-on acquisitions

in France under our ownership

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