Harland Simon was a subsidiary of Swedish engineering group Asea. It designed, manufactured and installed electrical control and monitoring equipment for use in continuous process industries, such as paper and printing. In 1980 Asea sold this business to a management buy-in team backed by Cinven.
The business itself was well regarded in its home market as well as achieving reasonable volumes of export sales. However, it was believed that the business could grow its sales significantly through increased marketing and also through acquisition of complementary businesses operating in similar markets.
In the following six years sales and profits followed a strong growth trend. The business continued to be supported by Cinven and in mid 1987 was successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange.
Multiple returned on original investment: 6x.