ST. PETER PORT, Guernsey, May 6 /PRNewswire/ --

ECAS S.a.r.l, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of European Capital Limited (LSE: ECAS) ("European Capital"), announced today that it has invested euro 28 million in International Electronics and Engineering S.A. ("IEE"), a leading and innovative developer of safety-critical sensing solutions for the automotive industry. The investment supports Apax Partners' recapitalization of IEE. ECAS S.a.r.l invested mezzanine debt in IEE, which was arranged and underwritten by Allied Irish Banks.

"We are excited to once again work with Apax Partners, a leading private equity firm," said Jean Eichenlaub, Southern Europe Regional Managing Director, European Capital Financial Services Limited ("European Capital Services"). "Apax's expertise in technology and its history with IEE make this a promising investment. We look forward to helping IEE, the leading player in a specialized sensing systems market, in its development."

In the first quarter of 2008, European Capital invested a total of euro 140 million in six companies, compared to euro 267 million invested in ten companies in the first quarter of 2007. European Capital raised over euro 520 million in capital in the first quarter of 2008, compared to euro 47 million raised in the first quarter of 2007 and euro 518 million in all of 2007. In addition, European Capital realized euro 115 million from investments in the first quarter of 2008, compared to euro 163 million in the first quarter of 2007 and euro 707 million in all of 2007; a portion of these funds are available for reinvestment. European Capital has assisted in the refinance or syndication of more than euro 297 million of senior debt for its portfolio companies in the last twelve months.

For more information about European Capital's portfolio, go to

"IEE has a proven track record and strong customer relationships with all major car manufacturers," said Stephane Legrand, Director, European Capital Services. "The market for IEE's products continues to grow as automotive safety regulations tighten across the world. As an innovator and first-mover in its market, IEE is in an excellent position to improve its market share in both the U.S. and Europe."

"IEE's history of developing innovative applications for the car safety industry and growing its market share, as well as its impressive financial record and long-term contractual agreements with OEMs, are strong indicators of IEE's future growth potential," said Olivia Reveilliez, Manager, European Capital Services. "IEE's state of the art technological development centers contribute to its specialized expertise."

IEE is a world leading innovative developer of specialized sensing systems. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Luxembourg, the Company has operations in Europe, the U.S. and Asia and employs over 1,200 people worldwide. IEE is a global leader in automotive safety sensing systems for occupant detection and classification. The Company offers solutions for pedestrian protection and is developing sensing systems for advanced driver assistance applications and for active safety systems. IEE also develops smart input systems for car interiors. Its LuSense business unit develops and markets sensing solutions for consumer electronics such as mobile phones and MP3 players. LuSense also develops foot pressure sensing mats for medical applications. IEE is entering into markets such as Public and Commercial Infrastructure, Automation and Logistics and Medical and Healthcare with unique sensing solutions for people counting, luggage classification, parcel detection and patient surveillance.


European Capital is a publicly traded investment company for pan-European equity, mezzanine and senior debt investments with capital resources of approximately euro 2.8 billion. It is managed by European Capital Financial Services (Guernsey) Limited ("ECFSG" or "the Investment Manager"), a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital Strategies, Ltd. ("American Capital").

European Capital invests in and sponsors management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts and provides capital directly to private and public companies headquartered predominantly in Europe. European Capital generally invests between euro 5 million and euro 500 million per transaction in equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt to fund growth, acquisitions and recapitalizations.

The investment objective of European Capital is to provide investors with dividend income and the potential for share value appreciation by investing in debt and equity investments in private and public companies headquartered primarily in Europe. European Capital seeks to achieve this through pursuing the following types of investments:

European Capital One Stop Buyouts(TM)

Through our One Stop Buyouts(TM), European Capital provides equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt as the lead investor in the buyout of private and public companies.

Mezzanine Direct with Sponsors

European Capital provides one stop financing of subordinated debt and equity for buyouts sponsored by private equity firms where European Capital is either the sole or lead mezzanine debt investor.

Syndicated Mezzanine and Senior Debt

European Capital provides mezzanine financing for buyouts sponsored by private equity firms where European Capital is neither the sole nor lead mezzanine or senior debt investor.

Direct Investments

European Capital provides subordinated debt and equity financing directly to private and public companies, which is used for growth, acquisitions or recapitalizations, and investing in structured finance vehicles.

Companies interested in learning more about European Capital's flexible financing should contact Jean Eichenlaub at +33-(0)-1-40-68-06-66 in Paris, Nathalie Faure Beaulieu at +44-(0)-20-7539-7000 in London, Robert von Finckenstein at +49-(0)-69-71-71-297-0 in Frankfurt, or Luis Felipe Castellanos at +34-91-423-27-60 in Madrid, or visit the website at


American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS), with US$19 billion in capital resources under management, is an affiliate of European Capital and a member of the S&P 500. It is the largest U.S. publicly traded private equity fund and the largest publicly traded alternative asset managers. American Capital, both directly and through its global asset management business, is an investor in management and employee buyouts, private equity buyouts, and early stage and mature private and public companies. American Capital provides senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and securitizations. American Capital and its affiliates invest from US$5 million to US$800 million per company in North America and euro 5 million to euro 500 million per company in Europe.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements regarding expected results of European Capital and/or American Capital are subject to various factors and uncertainties, including the uncertainties associated with the timing of transaction closings, changes in interest rates, availability of transactions, changes in regional, national or international economic conditions, or changes in the conditions of the industries in which European Capital and/or American Capital has made investments.

Web site:

Stephane Legrand, Director, or Olivia Reveilliez, Manager, +33-(0)-1-40-68-06-66, or Marie Bal, Communications Manager, +33-(0)-1-40-68-68-66, all of European Capital Financial Services Limited