HSBC Private Equity's Amtech sale breaks summer drought

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Amtech, which designs technology for the construction industry, has been put up for sale by HSBC Private Equity and its management.

The sale process is one of the few that is under way in a dry summer for private equity transactions.

Adviser Grant Thornton has been hired to handle the sale, which is hoped will fetch up to £40m. First-round bids are due at the end of this month and offers are expected from both private equity and trade parties. Management owns 60 per cent and HSBC the rest.

HSBC backed a £17m management buyout of Milton Keynes-based Amtech in 2006. Staff count has since trebled to around 140, bolstered by three acquisitions, including data services firm TSI Luckins last October.

The sale comes at a precarious time for private equity-owned sales processes. Buyout group HgCapital has pulled the sale of medical recruitment company Pulse, having failed to receive its target price of around £50m.

However, HSBC did buy the Scotland and Norway-based oil services company Viking Moorings last month and is believed to have paid £180m-£200m in a deal that netted management £35m.

HSBC and Amtech management declined to comment.