Trump win could be boon for CVC-owned border fence maker


Fence and patrol at the US-Mexico border in Arizona

CVC Capital Partners owns Betafence, one of the world’s largest suppliers of fences and perimeter security systems.

Betafence has done work on the US-Mexico border where Trump said during his campaign that he would build a wall as part of efforts to increase control of immigration from Mexico.

In an interview before the presidential election, Aaron Cope, Betafence’s director of sales for North America, said the company could gain more business if Trump won.

The company, which CVC acquired control of two years ago, reckons that, at a time of growing concerns about terrorism, North America lags behind other parts of the world in high-security border infrastructure.

“In North America, we are so far behind in physical security compared with the rest of the world,” Cope said.

The company was reluctant Wednesday to draw immediate conclusions from Trump’s victory or divulge detail on its prospects.

“The election has just taken place. It is too early to comment on what is going to happen,” said Nicolas Richter, a spokesman for Betafence. “We are a high-security company and we don’t really like to comment on what our business is doing.”

Betafance chief executive Michele Volpi wrote in the firm’s 2015 annual report that the global high-security market could grow as much as 10% a year to €21 billion in 2018. Betafence employs more than 1,400 around the world and has €341 million ($ 376 million) of annual sales, according to CVC.

Growing demand for security products is creating a “favorable scenario” for Betafence, Volpi wrote in the 2015 report. “The risk of international terrorism” is one of the reasons for demand, he said.

CVC has more than $ 70 billion under management. In September, it agreed to sell its stake in the Formula One motor-racing franchise.

The firm has owned a stake in Betafence since 2005, an unusually long time. Private equity firms usually try to sell investments within five years. When CVC increased its minority stake to gain control of Betafence in 2014, it noted Betafence’s track record in gaining market share and its promising growth prospects.

A spokesman for CVC declined to comment on Betafence.

Betafence expanded in the US in 2014, buying SecureUSA, which makes products including vehicle crash barriers and bollards. Betafence acquired Hesco, a UK-based company that provides security to the US and British military, earlier this year.

Arizona Senator Steve Smith said Betafence was among companies that contacted him after he started campaigning to raise money to build a secure border with Mexico in 2011. He supports more spending on border security.

“We need appropriate law enforcement on the border,” the senator said in an interview before the election.

Security companies are hoping for clearer government policy on borders, according to Jack Lichtenstein, head of government affairs at ASIS International, a Washington-based organisation that represents the industry. Lichtenstein said Trump and Hillary Clinton, his Democrat rival in the presidential race, were invited to speak at the organisation’s conference in September, which had 22,000 registrants, but neither attended.

Write to Simon Clark at

This article was first published by The Wall Street Journal

More from Private Equity

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Alternatives – Financial News Online

You May Also Like