STERN seeks cooperation with strategic lease partner

NPM Capital

Stern Groep N.V., the listed Dutch market leader in automotive retail, presented its new strategic plan ‘Fast Forward Reloaded’ for 2019 – 2022 to investors and analysts on 20 December 2018. An important part is the search for a strategic partner for the lease activities, subject to this delivering mutual benefits. Stern intends to sell its lease portfolio to a lease partner, that in exchange will make solid commitments regarding the long-term supply of services by Stern Group in relation to the purchase of cars, maintenance, repairs, car body repairs and rental of cars and alternative electric forms of transport.

Fast Forward Reloaded
Since its incorporation in 1993, Stern Group (an NPM Capital portfolio company) has been working on an integrated mobility proposition in which the various activities strengthen each other. Stern itself thus provides a proportion of the necessary revenue and added value per business unit and can therefore position itself more independently with respect to large parties in the automotive sector such as importers, insurers and lease companies.

For the success of this strategy, keeping the mobility services such as insurance and finance on the balance sheet is not necessary. For instance, there was the successful sale of Stern Finance B.V., the own intermediary for retail and commercial finance and insurance, to Bovemij in 2010. Stern has continued to sell finance and insurance products to consumers and businesses since that time.

After the trading update of 14 November 2018, in which Stern announced that it would be reviewing the strategic options for SternLease, positive exploratory talks have taken place. Important decisions will be taken in the coming months. ING Corporate Finance and Van Doorne have been engaged by Stern as financial and legal advisers respectively. Once the terms of the deal and following steps are clear, Stern Group will issue a press release without delay and convene an Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders.

Read the full press release of Stern Groep

Categories: News


GILDE BUY OUT PARTNERS and management acquire Gundlach Automotive Corporation

Gilde Buy Out

Raubach – Funds advised by Gilde Buy Out Partners (“Gilde”) are pleased to announce the acquisition of Gundlach Automotive Corporation (“GAC” or the “Group”) together with management from companies controlled by Pon Holdings B.V. (“Pon”). The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. GAC is a leading aftermarket distributor of tires, rims, completely fitted wheels and related services to car dealerships and wholesalers in Germany as well as wheel assembly services to blue-chip car OEMs in Europe. The Group was formed under the successful leadership of the senior management team of Reifen Gundlach to form a leading European platform in 2017. GAC now encompasses Reifen Gundlach (a leading brand for premium tire and wheel distribution for over 45 years), PTG Automotive Solutions and Services (just-in-sequence wheel assembly for car OEM production), RG Automotive Solutions (winter wheel assembly services for OEM brands) as well as Euro Tyre (global tire purchasing organization) and Goodwheel (eCommerce tire platform). Operations are based in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Sweden and the Netherlands. Commenting on the transaction Gebhard Jansen, CEO of GAC, says: “We thank Pon for the fruitful cooperation under their period of ownership and we are proud of the over 650 employees to be part of our Group and with whom we look forward to jointly enter a new chapter in our success story. With Gilde we found a strong partner to continue and accelerate our growth strategy to become the leading player in the tire and wheel distribution market.” Rogier Engelsma, Partner at Gilde, added: “GAC represents a very attractive opportunity for us to invest in a leading player in the European tire and wheel distribution market. We are impressed with the Group’s track record of consistent growth and its unique set up to serve multiple levels within the supply chain. GAC is in an excellent position to further build on this solid foundation and to become the number 1 integrated player in the European tire and wheel distribution business. We are excited to support GAC during this next phase of development.” Read more at:

Categories: News


AURELIUS acquires Norwegian wholesale business from HELLA

Aurelius Capital

  • Second-largest wholeseller for automotive spare parts in Norway
  • Further strengthening of AURELIUS presence in the Nordic region
  • AURELIUS’ expertise in corporate spin-offs and difficult carve-outs paying off again

Munich/Oslo, November 12, 2018 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) acquires the Norwegian wholesaler Hellanor from Nordic Forum Holding A/S, a 100% subsidiary of HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA. Headquartered in Skytta near Oslo, Hellanor is the second-largest automotive aftermarket wholesaler in Norway, generating c. EUR 70 million in revenues with approx. 250 employees. The transaction is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Hellanor supplies its customers, typically automotive workshops, car dealerships and local wholesalers, with spare parts from its central warehouse in Skytta as well as from 19 branches across the country. In addition, Hellanor offers workshop franchise concepts to its clients under its own AutoMester brand as well as for third-party concepts such as Bosch Car Service. Within its AutoMateriell business segment Hellanor supplies workshop equipment of leading equipment OEMs such as JohnBean and MAHA.

“I am pleased to welcome Hellanor as the fourth Nordic company in our portfolio, highlighting our commitment to this region. The transaction also proves again that our experience in corporate spin-offs is highly appreciated by corporate sellers,” said Leif Lupp, AURELIUS Group’s Head of Nordics. “Hellanor is the number 2 in Norway and operates in a healthy market. As a former non-core business under HELLA ownership, Hellanor will clearly benefit from the heightened attention it will receive as a standalone business under the AURELIUS umbrella. Our operations experts will help to ensure a successful, expeditious carve-out and then support management in aligning Hellanor to challenges and growth potential in the automotive after-market.”

Categories: News


Genstar Capital Announces the Acquisition of BBB Industries

Genstar to Partner with Management to Drive Growth and Expand New Product Technologies, Further Enhancing BBB Industries’ Leading Role as a Supplier in the Automotive Aftermarket

SAN FRANCISCO, August 2, 2018 – Genstar Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on investments in targeted segments of the industrial technology, healthcare, financial services, and software industries, today announced the acquisition of BBB Industries, LLC, an industry leader in the automotive aftermarket.

BBB supplies non-discretionary replacement parts in the North American automotive aftermarket, primarily focused on the do-it-for-me (“DIFM”) light vehicle aftermarket and serves vehicle owners, professional technicians and franchised dealers.  BBB Industries has a broad product offering, including starters, alternators, hydraulic steering, brake calipers, electric power assisted steering (“EPAS”) and turbochargers.  Its 30,000+ SKUs are sold through warehouse distributors, retail outlets, and OEM service organizations.  Founded in 1987, the company is based in Daphne, AL.

Rob Rutledge, Managing Director, said, “BBB is an industry leader in the automotive aftermarket with a strong reputation for quality and manufacturing expertise.  We believe we can partner with management to expand the product offerings for BBB’s customers through investments in new technologies, capacity expansions, and acquisitions in BBB’s current and adjacent markets.  Genstar’s ability to move quickly and to provide growth capital will help to further enhance BBB’s market presence and build on its strong relationships with new and existing customers.”

Duncan Gillis, CEO of BBB Industries, said, “Because our products are mission critical to the operation of a vehicle, our key focus is to provide customers with quality, availability, breadth of SKUs, and service.  With Genstar’s expertise and history of successfully building companies like ours, we look forward to transforming our company and taking BBB Industries to the next level while continuing to provide our customers with the highest quality products.  We very much look forward to this new partnership.”

Genstar was advised by UBS Investment Bank and Latham & Watkins LLP in connection with the transaction.

About BBB Industries

BBB Industries, LLC is an industry leader in the remanufacturing of starters, alternators, hydraulic and air disc brake calipers, both hydraulic and electronic power steering products and turbochargers for the OEM, personal and commercial vehicle aftermarket industries. BBB takes pride in producing the highest quality products in the industry with exacting standards that apply to customer service, the manufacturing process, product installation and to the performance on the vehicle. Automated test fixtures test every unit manufactured by BBB to meet or exceed OE specifications. Founded in 1987, BBB Industries, LLC is a private company headquartered in Daphne, Alabama. Please see for more information.

About Genstar Capital

Genstar Capital ( is a leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high quality companies for more than 25 years.  Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with its management teams and its network of strategic advisors to transform its portfolio companies into industry-leading businesses. Genstar currently has approximately $10 billion in assets under management and targets investments focused on targeted segments of the industrial technology, healthcare, financial services and software industries.



Genstar Capital
Chris Tofalli Public Relations
Chris Tofalli

BBB Industries, LLC
Gerard Yanuzzi
Vice President of Marketing, BBB Industries, LLC

Categories: News


FSN CAPITAL V: Holmbergs Safety System has signed an agreement to acquire Fasching Safety Belts

Fsn Capital

Holmbergs Safety System Holding AB (“Holmbergs”) has signed an agreement to acquire Austria based Fasching Safety Belts GmbH (“Fasching”), which is a leading provider of safety belts for the bus and motor coach industry. The acquisition is consistent with Holmbergs’ strategy of growing its Secured Transportation business, both organically and through M&A, to complement its global market leading position in child safety systems. Fasching’s current owner will re-invest a substantial part of the transaction proceeds in Holmbergs, as well as remaining in the Board of Directors for Fasching and working actively with strengthening the Holmbergs Group’s overall position in the DACH region.

Fasching is a global leading manufacturer of safety belts for buses, commercial vehicles and wheelchairs. The company has shown strong organic annual growth in recent years, and currently has revenues of EUR 10 million. Today, Fasching has a stable global platform for continued expansion.

Anders Sandell, CEO Holmbergs:
“We are impressed by Fasching’s strong growth journey, as well as its leading market position for safety solutions in attractive niches of the transportation market, and in particular its global market leading position in the bus segment. Fasching will form a great platform for continued growth in our Secured Transportation business. Furthermore, this transaction is in line with our strategy to continue to grow our Secured Transportation business, both organically and through acquisitions of market leading niche players. Most importantly, we hereby want to welcome Fasching to the Holmbergs’ family, and we look forward to start working with Mr. Mayer and his colleagues at Fasching.”

Peter Mayer, CEO and owner of Fasching:
“It has been a great journey since I joined Fasching in 2014. Since then, we have grown topline organically by CAGR 15%, and we are today the global market leading player in safety belts for buses, with customers on multiple continents. It is my strong view that Holmbergs will be a great owner of Fasching, and the acquisition will strengthen both Holmbergs’ and Fasching’s offering.  Also, I am excited of being able to re-invest in Holmbergs, as well as continue working with Fasching, together with the Holmbergs’ team.”

Holmbergs is a global market leader in the fast-growing niche markets of safety products and systems for child safety seats, as well as for the secured transportation industry. In 2017, Holmbergs pro-forma sales is expected to exceed SEK 430 million. In partnership with FSN Capital, Holmbergs aspires to reinforce its strong market position in child safety and further accelerate international growth, primarily in Asia. Additionally, the company intends to continue to grow its adjacent Secured Transportation business, both through organic as well as in organic initiatives.



Categories: News


Valmet Automotive Strategy and Leadership Transition


In 2017 Valmet Automotive took significant steps in transforming from a Finland-based vehicle manufacturing business to a service provider with a broad offering to the automotive industry: a company with a special focus on electric vehicles and a strong presence in Central Europe, close to its key customers. While vehicle manufacturing continues to be a core element in Valmet Automotive’s strategy, the company is putting more emphasis on growth from new areas such as automotive engineering and battery pack supply. This complements its vehicle and roof manufacturing businesses.

In January 2017 Valmet Automotive entered into a partnership focused on electronic automotive solutions with Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL), a leading global provider of battery and energy storage solutions. This was followed in February 2017 by the acquisition of an automotive engineering company in Germany employing approximately 800 people in locations next to the leading OEMs. Following this expansion Valmet Automotive now employs circa 1,000 engineers in Europe.

The aim of building up a strong engineering team and the CATL partnership is to move Valmet Automotive closer to its key customers and become a significant European player in the rapidly evolving and fast growing electric vehicle domain. Our goal is to support the European automotive OEMs, their suppliers and selected industrial customers by engineering electric vehicle drive train solutions, integrating them into vehicles and supplying batteries. The unique assets of Valmet Automotive also offer the capability to support complete vehicle engineering, the manufacturing of vehicles and automotive roof solutions.

In vehicle manufacturing Valmet Automotive has successfully built a strong relationship with Daimler through manufacturing both the A-class car and GLC SUV in high volumes in Uusikaupunki, Finland. During 2017 Valmet Automotive manufactured a record number of vehicles. This followed the successful completion of our biggest ever recruitment campaign and extensive development of the Uusikaupunki plant. It is now the largest single site factory operation in Finland, employing over 4,000 people. Such a steep ramp-up of operations in Uusikaupunki did not produce, due to operational issues, the financial results expected. However, Valmet Automotive did manage to deliver more cars to Daimler than they had initially expected. The partnership with Daimler sets a new milestone during 2018 as Valmet Automotive starts manufacturing an as yet unrevealed new Daimler car.

In order to realize the full potential of the Valmet Automotive’s updated strategy and new assets, the Board of Directors has decided to initiate a leadership transition. CEO Ilpo Korhonen steps down from his position January 29, 2018 and leaves the company February 28, 2018. The search for the new CEO is ongoing and in the interim the General Counsel, Minna Huhtaniska, will take on the Managing Director responsibilities of Valmet Automotive’s parent company.

– Valmet Automotive has gone through a significant transformation during the recent past. While the 2017 financial results are not satisfactory, the company has grown into a meaningful European player with expanded business scope and strong capabilities not only in Finland but also in Germany and Poland. We have the keys to the future in our own hands. In order to ensure successful execution of the strategy the Board has concluded that it is the right time to make a leadership transition, says Mr. Jarkko Sairanen, Chairman of the Board, Valmet Automotive.

– I am very proud what we have done over the decades at Valmet Automotive. The company has great talent and it has been a true honor to be part of our journey. I wish Valmet Automotive all the best in realizing its strategy and building the company into a true international player with a significant role in transforming the industry towards electric vehicles, says Mr. Ilpo Korhonen, departing CEO, Valmet Automotive.

– The entire Board and the employees of Valmet Automotive want to thank Ilpo Korhonen very warmly for his 30-years contribution through several roles and in particular for his very strong dedication to the company throughout the years, continues Mr. Jarkko Sairanen, Chairman of the Board, Valmet Automotive.

The owners of the company, Pontos, Tesi and CATL support Valmet Automotive’s measures in implementing the strategy.
– Valmet Automotive is in excellent position to become an increasingly important part of the European automotive industry through the electrification of mobility, says Mr. Timo Kokkila, CEO, Pontos.

Further information:
Jarkko Sairanen, Chairman of the Board
Requests for interviews through assistant Terhi Toivari +358 40 733 6929

Timo Kokkila, CEO, Pontos Oy
+358 10 239 6359

Jussi Hattula, Director, Growth & Industrial Investments, Tesi
+358 40 066 9955
@TesiFII / @jussiha


Valmet Automotive is an experienced provider of automotive engineering, vehicle manufacturing, battery systems and convertible roof systems. Our special areas of expertise are premium cars, electric vehicles and convertibles. We employ 5500 professionals in Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain. and Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube


Categories: News


H.I.G. Capital Acquires Majority Stake in Beinbauer Group

HIG Capital

HAMBURG – January 16, 2018 – H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global private equity investment firm with more than €20 billion of equity capital under management, announced that one of its affiliates has acquired a majority interest in Beinbauer Group (“Beinbauer”).

Beinbauer, headquartered in Büchlberg near Passau, Germany, is a leading provider of complex machined metal parts (iron, steel, aluminium) for the European on- and off-highway commercial vehicle industry (OEMs and other tier-1 suppliers). Beinbauer’s core competencies are the machining of components and assemblies in state-of-the-art production processes as well as building and managing complex supplier networks, offering its customers all-in-one solutions for axle, frame, chassis and engine parts from a single source. Beinbauer operates four production sites in Germany and has approximately 700 employees. In 2017, Beinbauer generated revenues of more than €200 million. The Beinbauer management team, headed by Tobias Lührig and Patric Meeth, will continue to lead the Group.

Wolfgang Biedermann, Managing Director at H.I.G. Europe commented on the transaction: “Led by a dedicated and highly experienced management team, Beinbauer has shown a strong development in recent years and demonstrated that it plays an important role as a reliable supplier to the European heavy vehicles industry. With its clear focus on offering its customers a highly flexible “one-stop-shop” solution, Beinbauer can further strengthen and expand its position in an attractive market segment of the European automotive industry. H.I.G. will support Beinbauer in increasing its market position in the solidly growing commercial vehicle market, both by organic growth and via strategic acquisitions. H.I.G. is looking forward to the partnership with Mr. Lührig and Mr. Meeth as well as the entire Beinbauer team.”

Tobias Lührig, Managing Director of the Beinbauer Group said: “With H.I.G., we have exactly the right partner on board that can ideally support the Group in implementing its planned expansion course over the next years. We look very much forward to working with H.I.G.”

Patric Meeth, also a Managing Director of the Beinbauer Group, adds: “Through this partnership, Beinbauer will benefit not only from H.I.G.’s financial resources, but also from its substantial experience in the development of new markets and, most importantly, in identifying attractive acquisitions.”

About Beinbauer Group
For more than 40 years, Beinbauer has been a reliable partner for leading OEMs of the commercial vehicle, agricultural, construction machinery, rolling stock and car industries. The Beinbauer Group was established in 2013 by the merger of Beinbauer Automotive GmbH & Co. KG and Wagner Automotive GmbH. The core competencies of both companies include the machining of components and assemblies in state-of-the-art production processes as well as building and managing complex supplier networks. Beinbauer Group offers its customers all-in-one solutions for axle, frame, chassis and engine parts from a single source. For more information, please refer to the Beinbauer Group website at

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with over €20 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of €28 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at

H.I.G. European Capital Partners GmbH is a legally independent advisor to H.I.G. Capital LLC, H.I.G. Europe Capital Partners, L.P. and H.I.G. Europe Capital Partners II, L.P.

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.

Categories: News


SoftBank Vision Fund invests €460 million in DN Capital Portfolio Company AUTO1

DN Capital

AUTO1 Group, Europe’s leading multi-sided platform for the used car sector, today announced a 460 million investment by SoftBank Vision Fund. The investment, of which around half will be made through the issue of new shares, values AUTO1 at €2.9 billion and will support the Group’s continued growth and international expansion. DN Capital led the Series A round in 2013. AUTO1 Group’s technology enables dealers as well as private individuals to trade seamlessly throughout Europe via an analytics and logistics platform that most efficiently matches supply and demand for used cars. Since launching in 2012, AUTO1 Group has expanded into more than 30 countries, trading with over 35,000 professional partners and selling over 40,000 cars per month. SoftBank’s Akshay Naheta will join the AUTO1 Group board following the investment.

AUTO1 Group Co-CEO Hakan Koç said: “We are delighted to welcome SoftBank Vision Fund, one of the largest tech funds in the world, as an investor in AUTO1 Group. We believe that the Fund’s deep investment and technology expertise will help us to accelerate our growth as we continue to focus on making the used vehicle market more efficient and transparent.”


Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, said: “AUTO1 Group has built a fast growing, data-enabled platform introducing efficiency and transparency to the fragmented used car market, which is worth more than $300 billion annually. The SoftBank Vision Fund’s capital and our operational expertise with marketplace businesses will support continued global growth.”



About Auto1 Group

Founded in 2012, AUTO1 Group is Europe’s leading multi-sided platform for the used car sector. As an independent multi-brand platform, AUTO1 Group is aimed primarily at the used car trade and offers over 35,000 professional partners the opportunity to access a diversified portfolio of more than 40,000 vehicles. By connecting buyers and sellers through technology the company enables dealers and increasingly consumers to trade seamlessly throughout Europe. AUTO1 Group owns business units like, or AUTO1 Group matches supply and demand for used cars in over 30 countries. In 2016 the company sold more than 300,000 vehicles and achieved revenues of EUR 1.5 billion. For more information please visit

About DN Capital

DN Capital is a leading early stage and growth capital investor focused on Seed, Series A and select series B investments in marketplaces, digital health, fintech, SaaS, digital media, e-commerce, mobile applications and software companies. The firm was founded in 2000 and has operations in London, Berlin and Silicon Valley. DN Capital’s previous funds are top performers and the firm is one of the lead investors in companies such as Endeca (sold to Oracle), Shazam (one of the world’s leading mobile apps), Auto1 (world’s largest used car marketplace), Purplebricks (IPO London) and Quandoo (sold to Recruit). The professionals at DN Capital bring over 75 years of private equity & venture capital experience to their investments, and actively work with portfolio companies to steward their growth through the various stages of development. Additional information about the firm and its portfolio companies can be found at

For further information

Kanira Shah

Investor Relations

DN Capital

Categories: News