3i to receive £77m in proceeds from refinancing of Aspen Pumps and distribution from Audley Travel

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3i-backed Aspen Pumps (“Aspen”) and Audley Travel (“Audley”) to return in aggregate £77m in cash to 3i Group plc (“3i Group”).

Aspen, the global leader in condensate pumps for air conditioning and refrigeration systems, has successfully completed a refinancing following the completion of the acquisition of Advanced Engineering, Aspen’s 5th bolt-on under 3i ownership.

3i Group plc will receive £52m from the transaction, representing more than 0.8x its original equity investment. This has been enabled by the significant growth and cash generation in the business, with revenues more than doubling since 3i’s investment in 2015. The refinancing ensures Aspen is well positioned to continue investing to further accelerate growth and deliver on its ambitious plans, both organically and through acquisitions, where it has a strong pipeline.

Audley, a leading provider of tailor-made experiential travel, has completed a £30m shareholder distribution funded by cash on balance sheet. 3i Group plc proceeds from this distribution are £25m. 3i invested in Audley in 2015 to build on its market-leading UK presence and support international growth, particularly in the US, where Audley has seen a 4x increase in bookings over the last 3 years.

Alan Giddins, Managing Partner and Head of Private Equity, commented:

“Aspen and Audley are both outstanding UK businesses, with leading market positions. Both companies have demonstrated strong organic earnings growth and cash conversion since our investments, which has enabled them to return cash to shareholders.



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For further information, contact: 

3i Group plc

Silvia Santoro

Shareholder enquiries

Tel: +44 20 7975 3258

Email: silvia.santoro@3i.com

Kathryn van der Kroft

Media enquiries

Tel: +44 20 7975 3021

Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com



Notes to editors:

About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com

About Aspen Pumps

Aspen Pumps is the global leader in the design, manufacture and assembly of condensate pumps focused on the air conditioning and refrigeration (“ACR”) sectors and is renowned for having the most reliable, installer friendly and innovative products. It also provides a range of market leading tools, rooftop mounting systems and accessories for ACR installers. For further information, please visit: https://www.aspenpumps.com

About Audley Travel

Audley is a leading provider of tailor-made experiential travel to over 80 destinations worldwide. Serving clients predominantly in the UK and US, Audley is renowned for its superior customer service and in-depth destination expertise delivered by its country specialists. For more information, please visit www.audleytravel.com

Categories: News


Altamir sells its remaining stake in Albioma


Paris, 11 December 2018 – Altamir has sold its remaining stake in Albioma to Impala, a diversified group with more than 6,000 employees operating in energy, manufacturing, brands and asset management.

Altamir’s investment in Albioma (ca. 5.5% of the share capital), which was held via Altamir’s subsidiary Financière Hélios, was sold for €31.7m.

Following this transaction, Altamir no longer holds any Albioma shares.

“I am very pleased that Jacques Veyrat has become a significant shareholder of Albioma, via the Impala group. His in-depth knowledge of the renewable energy sector at the international level should pave the way for accelerated growth at Albioma,” said Maurice Tchenio, Chairman of Altamir Gérance.


About Altamir

Altamir is a listed private equity company (Euronext Paris-B, ticker: LTA) founded in 1995 and with an investment portfolio of around €900m. Its objective is to provide shareholders with long term capital appreciation and regular dividends by investing in a diversified portfolio of private equity investments.

Altamir’s investment policy is to invest via and with the funds managed or advised by Apax Partners France and Apax Partners LLP, two leading private equity firms that take majority or lead positions in buyouts and growth capital transactions and seek ambitious value creation objectives.

In this way, Altamir provides access to a diversified portfolio of fast-growing companies across Apax’s sectors of specialisation (TMT, Consumer, Healthcare, Services) and in complementary market segments (mid-sized companies in Continental European countries and larger companies across Europe, North America and key emerging markets).

Altamir derives certain tax benefits from its status as an SCR (“Société de Capital Risque”). As such, Altamir is exempt from corporate tax and the company’s investors may benefit from tax exemptions, subject to specific holding-period and dividend-reinvestment conditions.

For more information: www.altamir.fr


Claire Peyssard-Moses

Tel.: +33 (0)1 53 65 01 74

E-mail: investors@altamir.fr

Categories: News


BBS Automation acquires industrial software specialist ANT


EQT portfolio company BBS Automation today announced the add-on acquisition of ANT – a leading developer of innovative “Industry 4.0” solutions that digitize production workflows in large-scale manufacturing processes.

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, BBS Automation develops flexible and high-quality automation solutions for complex manufacturing and testing processes. With production sites in Germany, the US, China and Malaysia, BBS Automation supports a diverse network of blue-chip customers on a global scale. EQT Mid Market Europe and EQT Mid Market Asia III jointly invested in BBS Automation alongside its founding families to support the growth ambitions of the company both organically and through add-on acquisitions.

BBS Automation and ANT – expanding offering of digital factory solutions

Better utilization of data analytics and IoT technologies represent an enormous opportunity for manufacturing companies across all sectors. The ability to increase the efficiency of assembly processes, allow for more rigorous testing and quality management practices as well as to enable predictive maintenance are only some of the manifold potentials that can be provided by integrated digital factory solutions.

In order to expand its offering in this regard, BBS Automation acquired the industrial software specialist ANT Sp. z o.o, a developer of highly innovative “Industry 4.0” solutions headquartered in Kraków, Poland. Founded in 2006 by Jerzy Fulara and Andrzej Jarosz, ANT has developed a core platform (“AOS”) that can be combined with highly customized software modules tailored to the specific needs of each customer.

Among other features, solutions of ANT include digital dashboards to visualize production workflows, data analysis tools to optimize machine efficiency, assistants to enable predictive maintenance and tools to digitize processes like documentation and quality control. One key strength of ANT’s solutions is the high compatibility with existing hardware and software infrastructures. Data can be drawn from a wide range of available machine sensors, complemented with ANT data acquisition modules wherever required. Analyses can subsequently be fed into a wide range of ERP-systems. This makes ANT a valuable partner for the digital transformation of existing factories, proven in more than 450 system implementations in more than 30 countries to date.

The combination of BBS Automation’s deep industrial automation expertise with ANT’s experience in software and data analytics will strengthen the ability to jointly develop integrated “Industry 4.0” solutions.

Uwe Behr, Co-founder of BBS Automation, comments: “In ANT we found our ideal counterpart among industrial software developers: ANT draws on a remarkable sector experience and truly understands the needs of its customers in their respective end markets, acting in close partnership with its clients to develop customized solutions of highest quality. With every new implementation they expand their ‘toolkit’ of capabilities. We are looking forward to partner up with its founders to combine our capabilities and jointly develop new innovative solutions that will allow our customers to master the digital transformation of their assembly and testing processes.”

Andrzej Jarosz, CEO and Co-founder of ANT adds: “Over the course of the last twelve years we expanded the depth and scope of our solution offering and were looking for a strong partner to further accelerate our growth. Our customers increasingly request us to serve them on a global scale. The global platforms of BBS Automation and EQT will allow us to better serve customers internationally. In addition, we see strong demand for our solutions in new end markets that BBS Automation already serves today and for which we will now work on customized solutions together.”

Andreas Fischer, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market Europe concludes: “Both BBS Automation and ANT have a strong entrepreneurial culture and share a passion to build best-in-class solutions for their customers. EQT is thrilled to support this add-on acquisition only six months after investing in the company. This transaction is a strong fit, not only in terms of synergistic technologies and geographic expansion potential, but especially in terms of the cultural fit of both businesses and we welcome the decision of ANT’s founders to stay on board. EQT looks forward to jointly develop BBS Automation’s positioning as a key enabler of Industry 4.0 production systems.”

FSN Capital V has signed an agreement to acquire Rameder Group

Fsn Capital

FSN Capital V has, together with management, acquired a majority stake in the Rameder Group, the European market leader in the distribution of towbars and related products. This partnership marks FSN Capital Funds’ first platform investment in Germany.

Founded in 1996, Rameder is today Europe’s leading distributor of towbars, bike carriers and roof racks. Based in the German town of Leutenberg and with offices in Ingolstadt (DE), Lille (FR) and Prague (CZ), the 200 employees at Rameder manage online shops in over ten countries (including kupplung.de in Germany), selling around 300,000 towbars each year throughout Europe. In addition, the Company operates 16 assembly points making them one of the largest professional towbar installation service providers in Germany. In recent years, Rameder has succeeded in making strategically important acquisitions both in Germany and abroad, with the acquisitions of Bertelshofer (DE) in 2012, France Attelage (FR) in 2017 and ELSA (CZ) in 2018. Combined with robust organic growth, these acquisitions have resulted in strong topline development. Today Rameder generates approximately €70m in revenue.

Focusing on organic and acquisition-driven growth
After two decades of successfully investing in Scandinavia, in early 2018 FSN Capital Partners, acting as investment adviser to the FSN Capital Funds, opened an office in Munich and hired a team of professionals to advise the FSN Capital Funds on investments in the DACH region. The team, led by partners Robin Mürer, Justin Kent and Patrice Jabet, focuses on growth-oriented, mid-sized companies that have a strong value proposition and a clear market-leading position, where the FSN Funds see a clear potential to support management teams to achieve their growth strategies by providing both capital and know-how. The FSN team will seek to support FSN Capital V and Rameder’s management to achieve its strategic goals to boost turnover further in the core markets of Germany and Austria, expand its assembly network, and foster greater international growth by way of acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

Expanding market leadership
Rameder is an exceptionally well positioned company with a clear value proposition for its customers. We look forward to supporting the Rameder team to further solidify its leadership position in its core markets, while continuing to expand internationally in a sustainable and responsible manner” says Justin Kent, partner at FSN Capital Partners in Munich.

We are delighted to have found the ideal partner in FSN for the next stage of our development and we look forward to working with the FSN team to continue Rameder’s success story. FSN Capital Funds’ outstanding track record partnering with growing companies and their managers, combined with its strong focus on values, was a key aspect of our decision to partner with FSN”, say Dirk Schöler and Stefan Bertelshofer, Co-CEOs of Rameder Group.

Six successful investments in 2018
2018 has been a highly successful year for the FSN Capital Funds. Thus far, FSN Capital Funds have acquired the Norwegian road safety and road infrastructure solutions provider Saferoad the Norwegian equipment supplier for the aquaculture and fishery sectors Mørenot and the Swedish retailer of limited-edition trainers Sneakersnstuff. In addition, FSN Capital Funds have assumed a controlling interest in a new IT outsourcing business group that was created by the joint acquisitions of Swedish companies OITP, Zetup and Dicom. Key add-on acquisitions have also been successfully completed for the portfolio companies Holmbergs, which acquired the Austrian company Fasching Safety Belts, and Fitness World, which acquired the Swiss fitness chain basefit.

The team at FSN Capital Partners responsible for advising on the transaction is composed of Justin Kent, Eskil Koffeld and Clemens Plainer. FSN Capital V was also advised by Hengeler Mueller (legal), Bain (commercial), Alvarez & Marsal (financial), PwC (tax & ESG), eccelerate (e-commerce), JLT (insurance), capitalmind (debt advisory) and mcf (M&A).

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval with closing of the transaction scheduled for January. The details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Categories: News


AURELIUS completes acquisition of leading manufacturer of Water and Waste Water Valves VAG

Aurelius Capital

Munich, November 27, 2018 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) has completed the acquisition of VAG, the Mannheim-based manufacturer of water and waste water valves from U.S.-based Rexnord.

As a globally active company, VAG is one of the leading suppliers of valves for water treatment and distribution, waste water management, dams, power stations and the energy industry. With approx. 1,200 employees, VAG generated sales of almost EUR 200 million in its 2017/18 financial year. VAG is known and appreciated throughout the world for its market-leading know-how in product development and bears the quality seal “Engineering made in Germany.” The company has six production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, China, India, South Africa and the United States, as well as 14 own sales offices that sell VAG’s products and services in more than 100 countries of the world. VAG operates both in the global project business and in the production and distribution of standard applications.

Categories: News


Bridgepoint sells AHT Cooling Systems to Daikin


AHT, the global market leader in commercial plug-in refrigeration equipment for food retailers, is to be sold by private equity group Bridgepoint to Daikin Europe N.V., a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd of Japan.

Headquartered in Austria, with a presence in over 100 countries, AHT’s core products are ‘plug-in’ supermarket refrigeration cabinets. Plug-in refrigerators are the fastest growing segment in commercial refrigeration, replacing centralised remote systems as a result of lower total cost of ownership and speed of installation. The company has an installed base of over one million units. AHT’s contracts are based around the provision of comprehensive installation and maintenance services alongside the products themselves. It has four manufacturing sites in Austria, China, Brazil and USA.

Bridgepoint acquired the business in November 2013. In 2017 the company had €481m net sales and has achieved 12% compound revenue growth over last 10 years.

Michael Davy, partner at Bridgepoint and Chairman of AHT, said: “AHT has been transformed from a largely Europe-focused business into a global leader in its segment with a growing presence in a number of attractive international markets. It has been at the forefront of the refrigeration industry’s move away from remote built-in systems to plug-in units which customers find easier to install or relocate, are lower cost to operate, and are typically more environmentally friendly than traditional systems. We wish the company continued success under a new owner as it continues to expand geographically and enlarges further its product portfolio.”

Under Bridgepoint ownership there was significant investment in the business including over €70 million of capital expenditure in the last three years alone for the development of new products, expanding the manufacturing facility in Austria and setting up new production sitesin Brazil and the US. AHT also expanded its operations in China, where its production capability has enabled the group to reduce manufacturing costs, while continuing to grow market share in Europe.

Plug-in refrigeration is forecast to continue to outperform the wider global refrigeration market as a result of increased adoption, the replacement cycle of its installed base and growth in the consumption of frozen and chilled foods.

Frank Elsen, chief executive of AHT, added: “We have developed strongly since Bridgepoint invested over four years ago and we’ve become a leader in our market. Our ambitions do not end here and we welcome Daikin as our new shareholder. We will now be alongside a partner who knows and understands our business well. They will support us in our strategy of innovation and further internationalisation, especially in emerging markets, allowing us to take AHT’s technology and after-sales service to new customers in our key target markets of Asia and Latin America.”

Masatsugu Minaka, President of Daikin Europe, said: “With the acquisition, Daikin is adding AHT showcases to its own wide  range of products, services and solutions based on its air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. This will enable Daikin to become a one-stop provider, offering complete coordination of air conditioning and refrigeration products. The refrigeration and freezer business is a highly social issue as it contributes to one of the crucial world challenges of food preservation and food waste reduction, especially faced in developing countries. The refrigeration business presents great opportunities for us to utilise the advanced technologies we have cultivated including energy saving, inverters and refrigerant control.”

For Bridgepoint, advisers involved in this transaction included: JP Morgan (M&A), PwC (financial/tax), Freshfields (legal)

Categories: News



Gilde Buy Out

Zevenaar – Funds advised by Gilde Buy Out Partners (“Gilde”) today announced the acquisition of De Kinkelder Beheer B.V. (‘Kinkelder’), together with management. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.   Kinkelder, which has been a family business since its foundation in 1945, specialises in the production, development and sale of high-quality industrial circular saw blades for the steel industry and is the global leader in this market.

Kinkelder produces blades in 3 locations in Europe and the US, from which it exports to over 70 countries. The company has an unmatched reputation for high quality & service and a continuous focus on innovation. Under the ownership of the De Kinkelder family, the company has displayed a strong growth track record, both organically and through focused acquisitions. Kinkelder’s management has found a valuable partner in Gilde, with a wealth of experience in successfully supporting mid-market companies during their next growth phase. Jointly, Gilde and Kinkelder management are eager to continue to build on the success of the company and further grow its business. Read more at: http://gilde.com/news/2018/gilde-buy-out-partners-and-management-acquire-kinkelder

Categories: News


Latour divests its holding in Diamorph

Latour logo

Investment AB Latour (publ) has signed an agreement to divest its entire shareholding in Diamorph, a total of 14,923,571 shares which corresponds to 28.2 per cent of the capital. The transaction is carried out in connection with the UK-based Epiris Fund II’s acquisition of all the shares in Diamorph. Epiris has a long history of successful investments and we consider Epiris to be an owner that secures the future development of Diamorph.

Latour has been a shareholder in Diamorph since 2012. The divestment is a consequence of a decision supported by more than 90 per cent of the company’s shareholders. The purchase price for Latour’s share of the transaction amounts to SEK 290 m. Latour’s total in investment in Diamorph is SEK 164 m. The transaction will be completed in January 2019, subject to certain conditions that has to be fulfilled before that.

Göteborg, 20 November, 2018

Jan Svensson
President and CEO

For further information, please contact:
Anders Mörck, CFO Latour, +46 706 46 52 11

Investment AB Latour is a mixed investment company consisting primarily of a wholly-owned industrial operations and an investment portfolio of listing holdings in which Latour is the principal owner or one of the principal owners. The investment portfolio consists of ten substantial holdings with a market value of about SEK 51 billion. The wholly-owned industrial operations has an annual turnover of about SEK 10 billion.

Categories: News


Eurazeo PME signs an exclusivity agreement for sale of majority interest in Vignal Lighting Group capital


Eurazeo PME, Eurazeo’s division specializing in medium-sized companies, has received a firm offer to
purchase all of its interest in Vignal Lighting Group from EMZ Partners. Thus, Eurazeo PME has entered into
exclusive negotiations with the Private Equity firm until January 2019. The divestment project will soon be
subject to consultation with the relevant staff representative institutions.
Eurazeo PME acquired a majority stake in Vignal Lighting Group, global leader in lighting for on and off-road
specialty vehicles, in February 2014, working together with Jean-Louis Coutin and the company’s
management team to the transformation of the Group. The transaction, should it occur, would allow
Eurazeo PME to make €119M proceeds from the sale, including the 2016 repayment of the bonds for €27M,
representing a multiple of 2.8x its initial investment.

With Eurazeo PME as its majority shareholder, Vignal has conducted its significant transformation from an
European player in signaling for trucks and trailers to the global leader in lighting for on-road and off-road
specialty vehicles. The acquisition and integration of ABL Lights (2014) and CEA (2016) have supported the
group to offer a comprehensive and complementary product ranges on diversified end-markets (trucks,
construction, mining, handling, agriculture) and geographies (Europe, Americas, Asia) both in OEM and
aftermarket segments. Since 2014, the group has sped up its international expansion, benefitting from
significant cross-selling between product ranges and set-up of a direct presence in the US and in Asia.
Supported by Eurazeo PME, the group has invested in its industrialization across the three continents, with
in particular a new 11,500 sqm industrial and R&D center in Corbas and the opening of a new plant in China.
The group’s turnover more than doubled over the period from €47M in 2013 to €106M in 2017.
Pierre Meignen, Managing Director and Member of Eurazeo PME’s Management Board, declared: “With
the management of Vignal Lighting Group, we have had, since our acquisition, great ambitions to transform
the company in France and internationally. Thanks to the quality of its managers and employees, Vignal
Lighting Group fully respects its strategic roadmap by combining organic growth with external growth,
allowing for a significant expansion of its product range as well as expansion into new markets.”

About Vignal Lighting Group
Vignal Lighting Group is specialized in designing, manufacturing and marketing of lighting and signaling products and systems for industrial and commercial vehicles. It is the result of the combination in 2014 of Vignal Systems and ABL Lights. Both companies gained over time an international recognition in their respective fields thanks to innovative and high-quality products. In 2016, Vignal Lighting Group extends once again its product ranges with the acquisition of the company CEA SA based in Rancate, Switzerland, specialized in beacons and safety products for special vehicles especially in the agricultural field. Vignal Lighting Group also has production sites in the United States and China. With a staff of c. 500 persons, Vignal Lighting Group generated in 2017 a turnover of higher than €106M.
The R&D centers are located in France in the industrial areas of Lyon and Caen and in Rancate, Switzerland.

About Eurazeo PME
A subsidiary of Eurazeo, Eurazeo PME is an investment company dedicated to majority investments in French SMEs
with a value of under €250 million. As a long-term professional shareholder, it provides its investments with all the
financial, human and organizational resources necessary for long-term change, and supports those companies in its
portfolio in implementing sustainable and therefore responsible growth. This commitment is formalized and deployed through a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy.

Eurazeo PME achieved a consolidated turnover of €1.1 billion in 2017 and supports the development of the following
companies: 2RH, Dessange International, Léon de Bruxelles, Péters Surgical, Vignal Lighting Group, Redspher, the MK
Direct Group, Orolia, Smile, In’Tech Medical and Vitaprotech. These companies are solidly established within their
market and driven by experienced management teams.

Categories: News


EQT invests in leading wallpaper company Artwall in China


  • EQT Mid Market Asia acquires a 40% stake in Artwall, a leading wallpaper designer, manufacturer and retailer in China. Artwall has the first-class flexible digital print-on-demand technology and owns the China business of international premium wallpaper brand Brewster
  • EQT to support Artwall’s continued growth strategy, with its leading position in the digital flexible manufacturing wallpaper space, and further expand the retail network as well as develop the product offering to become a fully-integrated manufacturer and a strong national brand
  • EQT is partnering with the Artwall management team, which remains majority shareholders, and the strategic investor Red Star Macalline

The EQT Mid Market Asia III fund (“EQT Mid Market Asia”) today announces the acquisition of 40% of the shares in Shanghai Artwall Environmental Technology Co. Ltd. (“Artwall” or the “Company”) from the Company’s founders. The investment is made alongside with Red Star Macalline, the largest national operator of home furnishing malls in China. Artwall’s management team will, under the leadership of Ling Li, Founding CEO and Chairman, continue to lead the Company and drive the growth and development strategy.

Founded in 2005, Artwall produces a full range of wallcovering products including wallpaper, mural, wall cloth and curtains, and has a well-diversified distribution network consisting of self-branded retail stores and dealers. Artwall has become a leading and well-respected wallpaper manufacturer with creative design capabilities and first-class flexible digital print-on-demand technology. The Company is headquartered in Shanghai and has more than 500 employees.

With support from the industrial network and access to EQT’s vast experience within the retail and consumer sector, Artwall is well-positioned to capture the growth opportunities in the under-penetrated wallpaper market in China and benefit from the increasing trend of more frequent home and house renovations. The strategy includes continued growth, both organically and through add-on acquisitions of top wallpaper brands with the overall ambition to become a fully-integrated soft decoration solution provider and a strong national brand. In September 2018, Artwall announced the acquisition of Brewster’s China business. Brewster, founded in 1935, is the leading US wallpaper brand and has been a well-established premium brand in China for more than 20 years.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction value.

Jerry He, Partner, Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market Asia +86 21 6120 1097
EQT Press office +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with approximately EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 27 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About Artwall
Artwall is a leading wallpaper designer and manufacturer in China with strong original designing capability and pioneer in flexible digital printing technology. Founded in 2005, Artwall is headquartered in Shanghai and has more than 500 employees.

More info: http://en.qiangshangsh.com/

Categories: News