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Uponor sells infrastructure business

Heating system supplier Uponor has signed a contract to sell its UK and Irish infrastructure business to private equity firm 3i.
The deal means Uponor will move away from infrastructure business outside the Nordic countries.
Jyri Luomakoski, Uponor's deputy chief executive officer and infrastructure supremo, said: “We have invested extensively in the development of the gas and water pipe business in the UK and Ireland. In our strategic planning, we analysed different development scenarios for this business. In the longer-term, we did not regard it as a rational choice to keep the business in Uponor, because its synergies with the Nordic infrastructure business or the local housing solutions business were few.”
At the moment the infrastructure business focuses on plastic piping systems for the gas, telecommunications, water and wastewater markets.
The contract includes the sale of the share capital of Uponor's subsidiary company, Uponor Ltd in the UK and its subsidiary Radius Plastics in Northern Ireland.
The companies have manufacturing operations in Derbyshire, Co Durham and Northern Ireland.
The infrastructure business in Cork in the Republic of Ireland is also included in the deal. Uponor earlier announced a separate sale of its factory premises in Cork to a third party, the closing of which has been postponed to the first quarter of 2009.
In a statement the company said net sales of the divested businesses was 169.1 million euros in 2007, with Uponor making a profit of nearly 50 million euros.