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Finatem sells Techno-Physik-Group to Leonhard Moll AG

Finatem, a leading, independent Private Equity firm with a focus on SMEs in German speaking countries, has sold the Techno-Physik Engineering Group GmbH, including its subsidiaries Mineralka d.o.o. and Hoffmann Wärmedämmtechnik GmbH (heat insolation technology) to Leonhard Moll AG, Munich.
 
The Techno-Physik-Group, based in Essen, is a world-leading system supplier of high-quality thermal insulation and fire protection products for industrial applications in the shipbuilding and construction industry. In the area of vermiculite based products the group is the world’s largest supplier.
 
In 2010, the business group was taken over by Finatem as well as managing directors of the Techno-Physik-Group, Uwe Balshüsemann and Jörg Becker, as part of a management buy-out from the E.G.O Blanc and Fischer-Group. Since then the Techno-Physik-Group has grown to become the world’s only full-range supplier of thermal insulation and fire protection products based on vermiculite.
 
“The topics fire protection and thermal insulation are becoming increasingly important all over the world. Especially solutions that are based on natural products - environmentally friendly and not health-endangering - are increasingly in demand,” says Uwe Balshüsemann, the Managing Partner of the Techno-Physik-Group, and adds: “In this growing market, we are ideally positioned with our products, primarily based on natural resources.”
 
“In cooperation with the management we have expanded the Techno-Physik-Group in recent years to become the leader in this market niche,” says Eric Jungblut, Partner at Finatem. "In 2012 we acquired Hoffmann Wärmetechnik GmbH, established in Werdohl, which specialises in press-moulded parts. This was an important step towards becoming a fully integrated supplier.”
 
“The development of the Techno-Physik-Group is a further example of our sustainable investment strategy. We focus our investments on niche players with unique features and high quality standard in growing markets,” underlines Finatem Founding Partner Christophe Hemmerle. “In Leonhard Moll, we are pleased to have found a buyer for Techno-Physik, who will continue to grow the company with its excellent reputation and long-term strategy of industrial applications in the construction supply sector,” confirms Investment Manager Felix Rieder.
 
The parties have agreed to maintain confidentially about details of the transaction

Wincove Leads Recapitalization of Comstar Technologies

New York, NY– May 17, 2017 – Wincove Private Holdings, LP (“Wincove”) announced today that it has recently led the recapitalization of Comstar Technologies, LLC (“Comstar” or the “Company”).  As part of the transaction, Wincove partnered with Comstar’s President to sponsor an ownership buy-in for key members of the Company’s management, and invested capital for future growth.

Headquartered in West Chester, PA, Comstar is a full-service provider of technology and telecommunications services to corporate and institutional customers. The Company’s services include cloud-based VOIP (voice-over internet protocol) phone systems, the installation and maintenance of traditional phone systems, managed IT services, network infrastructure and cabling, and the integration of security, fire and A/V systems.  Comstar’s mission is to be a customer service-oriented “one-stop shop” for the evolving technology needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“Comstar has an impressive track-record of growth driven by its success in providing the highest level of customer service,” said John Lenahan, partner of Wincove.  “We are very proud to be partnering with Kevin Flounders and the Comstar team.  We look forward to supporting the Company as it continues to grow organically and expand its service offering, while aggressively pursuing strategic acquisitions.”

Kevin Flounders, President of Comstar stated, “I am very excited to partner with Wincove.  Their long-term approach and experience building market-leading businesses were highly attractive to our Company as we sought a partner for our next growth phase.”  For more information about Comstar, please visit www.comstar-usa.com.

Axcel Invests in Family-owned Cooling Specialist Nissens

Axcel is partnering with Nissens to generate further growth in the Danish-based cooling company, a leading international player in both the automotive aftermarket and the wind power and industrial markets. Previous owner Alan Nissen will stay on the board and remain a significant co-investor.

Founded in Denmark in 1921 and owned by the same family for four generations, Nissens develops, manufactures and supplies cooling solutions mainly for the automotive and wind power industries. The company has seen strong growth in all segments in recent years and is well-positioned for further expansion. Nissens reported revenue of almost DKK 1.4 billion and operating earnings of around DKK 160 million in the 2015/16 financial year.

"After almost a century in the family, it's a big decision to sell, but the timing is right and I have great faith in Axcel as a partner, as we've known each other for many years,"  says Allan Nissen, WHO will continue to sit on the board as Vice Chairman where he will focus on product development. "We have a strong management team with Mikkel K. Andersen at the helm, and with Axcel on board we have a new strategic sparring partner that can help us benefit from future global growth and win further market share. So I'm delighted to remain part of Nissens with a substantial minority holding."

This is the first investment for Axcel's new fund Axcel V. Lars Cordt, the partner responsible for the transaction, is looking forward to working with the company:

"Nissens has been posting strong growth in both top and bottom line for some time, thanks to dedicated staff with a sharp focus on customer service and product development. The company is one of the leaders in the automotive aftermarket and a global market leader in wind power, so it's well positioned to expand its market share. We also see considerable potential for growth through acquisitions."

"Supporting families through generation changes is an important part of our strategy," says Axcel's Chairman, Christian Frigast. "I feel very comfortable about working with the Nissen family, and I'm pleased that our long-term relationship is now bearing fruit." 
 
Nissens has continued to perform well, with double-digit growth in both revenue and earnings in the last financial year.
 
"With Axcel on board, we can continue to deliver innovative, market-leading solutions for the cooling industry," says CEO Mikkel K. Andersen, who has been with the company for seven years. "I'm really looking forward to working with Axcel to keep the company growing."
 
"The investment in Nissens means that Axcel V is off to a flying start, and it's great to see one of our key investors, pension fund PKA, also being part of the new ownership consortium at Nissens," says Axcel's Managing Partner, Christian Schmidt-Jacobsen. "Since the fund's initial closing in April, we've already managed to bring further investors on board, so if everything goes to plan we may be able to close the fund during the autumn."
 
The transaction is conditional on approval from the competition authorities.

 

Axcel - New owners for the world’s leading manufacturer of stunning tools

FRONTMATEC, the leading global supplier of customized equipment, solutions and software for the red meat industry has entered into an agreement to acquire the world leading manufacture of captive bolt stunning tools, Accles & Shelvoke Ltd 

Accles & Shelvoke has been manufacturing in Birmingham, UK, for over 100 years and has recently experienced increased demand from its global customer base for its high-quality cartridge powered tools. Frontmatec’s ownership of Accles & Shelvoke will support the business’ growth and development of new products and new markets which will help the company increase its penetration of the global marketplace.

Joe Holland, who was appointed as the General Manager of Accles & Shelvoke just over a year ago, will take full control of the captive bolt equipment manufacturing company, reporting directly to the Frontmatec management board.

Joe Holland said about the acquisition: “We sell our products all over the world, both direct to end users and through a network of over 40 distributors serving over 60 countries. In recent months, we have been focusing on expanding our presence globally by signing new distributors, in addition to building our product range of reliable and popular tools. Our new owners will help develop and build the company through continued investment, and I am excited to be leading the business in achieving that goal.”

Speaking about the changes to the business set-up, Joe added: “I do not expect any immediate changes to our current distributor arrangements, so it will be business as usual for our thousands of customers around the world.”

Accles & Shelvoke was formerly part of the Minworth-based Eley Group, which makes 22LR ammunition used in target shooting by competitors including Olympic standard athletes. The business supplies the cartridges to Accles & Shelvoke for their captive bolt equipment

New owner Frontmatec is a leading global supplier of advanced slaughter lines and other production equipment to major producers such as Tönnies, Group Bigard, WH Foods, Tyson Foods, Miratorg and Danish Crown, and has operations in Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, the US and China. With the purchase of Accles & Shelvoke, Frontmatec aims to expand on its offering of slaughterhouse equipment.

Frontmatec CEO, Henrik Andersen said about the purchase: “Frontmatec develops world-leading customized solutions for automation in the food industry, other hygiene sensitive industries and the utilities industry. Our ambition is to offer a full product and service offering to the industry, here Accles & Shelvoke is a fantastic addition to our business with an existing large share of the global captive bolt equipment market, which we aim to develop further.”

Justin Sparks and James Bailey of Springboard Corporate Finance advised Eley Group on the transaction.  Legal advice was provided to Eley Group by Chris Towle of Gowling WLG. Roger Gill from XMS Capital Partners (UK), Jon Start of Emms Gilmore Liberson and Gitte Dehn Lansner of Gorrissen Federspiel advised Frontmatec on the deal.

Silver Oak Services Partners Leads Recapitalization of Legacy Produce

Evanston, IL – April 18, 2017

Silver Oak Services Partners, LLC (“Silver Oak”), a lower middle market private equity firm focused exclusively on service businesses, announced it has partnered with management to lead the recapitalization of Legacy Farms, LLC (“Legacy” or the “Company”).

Legacy is a leading fresh vegetable and fruit grower, shipper, and wholesaler to grocers and foodservice providers in the Western US.  The Company specializes in dry vegetables (e.g. bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, etc.) while also offering a wide selection of fresh fruits.  Legacy is headquartered in Buena Park, California and operates out of a ~100,000 square foot distribution center.

“We’re at an exciting point in Legacy Farms’ evolution, and we realized that a value-added partner with additional capital resources could help us execute on our growth strategy.  Silver Oak’s distribution experience and track record of executing growth strategies alongside their management partners made them logical partners for us.  We look forward to working with them as we focus on expanding our capacity, making additional investments in our business and executing add-on acquisitions,” said Wally Sinner, CEO of Legacy.

Silver Oak was attracted to the produce sector given the highly-perishable nature of the product, the recurring demand from customers, and the recession-resistant nature of the sector.  Greg Barr, Managing Partner at Silver Oak, said, “Legacy is well known in the industry for its customer service, product quality and reliability, and we’re excited to partner with such an experienced management team.  We believe there are many organic and acquisition growth opportunities for the business, and we look forward to building upon Legacy’s impressive historical track record.”

Legacy Farms is actively looking for add-on acquisition opportunities in the Western US.

Please contact Greg Barr or David Friedman of Silver Oak for additional information.

Silver Oak invests in business, consumer and healthcare services companies in the lower middle market, typically with EBITDA of $4 million to $20 million.

 

Axcel V, First Close

Axcel began raising Axcel V in Q4 2016 and has completed a first closing with commitments of EUR 352 million. Axcel V has received support from existing and new investors, achieving approximately 65% of the fund’s target of EUR 550 million.

Axcel V will follow the same strategy as Axcel IV, namely to invest in leading mid-market companies in Denmark, Sweden and the rest of the Nordic region. These might be family-owned companies needing a partner to implement a growth strategy, companies that need to be developed internationally, or companies that need to focus on and expand their core business. With this same strategy, Axcel’s first four funds have made 46 platform investments, over 80 add-on acquisitions and 37 exits.

Its long history and strong network have created a unique position for Axcel, which has attracted a broad group of investors to Axcel V ranging from large institutional investors to a number of families, funds and company owners.

“We’re delighted that we’ve managed to complete the first closing of Axcel V so quickly,” says Christian Schmidt-Jacobsen, Managing Partner at Axcel. “It shows the trust in our team and in our ability to create an attractive return in the future. We’re now looking forward to honouring that trust by investing in and developing a number of exciting companies.”

“Having now participated in five fundraisings at Axcel, I can relate that the whole organisation has put in a huge effort to complete a first closing of this size,” says Axcel’s Executive Chairman Christian Frigast. “So I’m very pleased that we’ve come so far with our fifth fund in such a short space of time.”

 

Dunedin maintains focus on Professional Services sector with Investment in FRA

Dunedin, the UK mid-market private equity house, today announced that it has invested in Forensic Risk Alliance (“FRA”), an international consultancy business that provides forensic accounting, data analytics and e-discovery expertise to help businesses manage risk in an increasingly regulated global environment.  The value of the deal was undisclosed.
 
This investment expands Dunedin’s growing professional services portfolio.  It marks its third investment in a high value consulting business within the last two years, following recent investments in BlackRock PM and Alpha FMC. 
 
Founded by Frances McLeod, Toby Duthie and Greg Mason in1999, FRA works on some of the largest and most complex regulatory investigations globally. Its clients are typically blue-chip multinational corporates seeking advice to help navigate regulatory scrutiny, effect compliant cross border data transfer and manage risk. 
 
FRA has grown revenues significantly over the last five years.  The business now employs 110 staff in offices in Rhode Island, London, Paris and Washington DC.   It also runs data centres near each office location as well as in Montreal and Zurich.   
 
Dunedin plans to utilise its experience with similar businesses to increase the international reach and strengthen the operations of FRA.
 
The global market for FRA’s services is extremely large and is being driven by the growth of global regulation and enforcement activity, the proliferation of corporately held data, as well as an increase in scrutiny of corporate wrongdoing from data leaks and hacking.
 
Mark Ligertwood, Partner at Dunedin, who will join the FRA board commented: “FRA is a truly world class business that represents an excellent investment opportunity for Dunedin.  FRA is extremely highly regarded by clients and regulators for their investigative, compliance, financial and technological expertise whilst investigating the most complex and challenging cases of fraud or corruption. Our experience of working with similar businesses means that we are well placed to capitalise on the significant international growth opportunities that lie ahead for the business.”
 
Frances McLeod, Managing Partner of FRA commented: ‘We are excited to be working in partnership with Dunedin who we felt had a strong understanding of our business as well as complementary team dynamics.  Dunedin has a great track record of working with businesses such as ours and we are confident that they will support us to achieve our growth ambitions, whilst also retaining our independence.”

Nazca Acquires McBath

Nazca Capital has acquired one hundred percent of Moldcom Composites S.L. (“McBath”) together with the company’s management team. McBath was founded in 2006 and is specialized in cast marble bathroom equipment. This investment is the first deal for Fund Nazca IV, raised in the second half of 2016 with a capital of €275 million.

With headquarters in Ribarroja (Valencia), McBath is one of the European leaders in cast marble shower trays, market niche that is registering double digit growth and which is expanding through European countries. With more than 120 employees the company has tripled its 2013 sales volume, closing 2016 with sales close to €20 million and positioning themselves as one of the leading brands in the shower tray, washbasins and Solid Surface segment. The company has a high international component, exporting 80% of sales, being France its main market.

In this new stage, McBath bets on the continuity of its current management, aspiring to maintain its growth rate through national and international expansion, as well as through the development of new products and the selective acquisition of companies that could complement its product range.

EY and Cuatrecasas have advised Nazca in the acquisition of McBath, Livingstone Partners and Garrigues have advised the sellers.

Since 2001 Nazca has invested the entirety of Funds I, II and III with a respective size of €100, €150 and €230 million, having accomplished 58 transactions: 24 direct investments in companies, 16 additional acquisitions through participated companies and 18 divestments.

Nazca currently manages fund Nazca IV with a total commitment of €275 million provided by international institutional investors. Aside from McBath, Nazca’s portfolio is comprised by 6 firms: Eurekakids (educational toys), Grupo OM (visual merchandising), Gestair (private aviation), FoodBox (retail food), Distribuciones Juan Luna (food) and Caiba (PET packaging). Nazca has divested from: Svenson, Rodilla, Dibaq, Unipost, Vinartis, Lizarrán, El Derecho, Guzmán, Acens, Hedonai, Elogos, Fritta, Autor, IMOncology, Logifrío, Agromillora and El Granero Integral. www.nazca.es

Dunedin Completes Final Exit from Dunedin Buyout Fund with Sale of Steeper

Dunedin announced today that it has sold its hi-tech upper limb prosthetic business in Steeper Holdings Limited (http://rslsteeper.com/), to Ottobock, for an undisclosed sum. The sale completes the final exit from Dunedin Buyout Fund, a 2002 vintage fund which has performed well for investors, with a gross IRR of 34%.

This follows a busy transactional period for Dunedin which has made two exits, two recapitalizations and two investments over the last twelve months including the sale CitySprint as well as investments in Alpha FMC and Kingsbridge Risk Solutions. Dunedin is currently investing Dunedin Buyout Fund III, a £300 million fund raised in June 2013.

Nicholas Hoare, partner of Dunedin who led the exit commented: “We invested in Steeper in 2005. Subsequent changes in NHS purchasing and funding constraints meant we had to change strategy and move away from Steeper’s reliance on the NHS. The business was refocused from a services business into a global manufacturer of orthotics and prosthetics. Dunedin invested further in Steeper to support these growth plans helping it to break into new markets including the US and launching new products such as the bebionic hand. The sale to Ottobock is an excellent fit and we are confident that the business will continue to deliver on its growth ambitions.”

Shaun Middleton, managing partner of Dunedin commented: “We are committed to long-term value creation and to driving the growth and internationalization of the businesses we back. Steeper is a good example of this support. We are delighted to have completed the final exit from Dunedin Buyout Fund, a 2002 vintage which has been a great success, generating strong returns and significant value for our investors.”

Advisers on the transaction include:

·         Corporate Finance - KPMG - Christian Mayo and Ben Taylor

·         Legal - Gateley - Paul Hayward and Paul Simpson

·         Tax -  Deloitte - Roger Parr and Liz Ballinger

 

CLASSWALLET ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT FROM BRENTWOOD ASSOCIATES

ClassWallet, a market-leading platform that streamlines the tracking of education funds, has closed a minority investment from Brentwood Associates. ClassWallet represents the fifth education-related investment for Brentwood.  Several existing ClassWallet investors also participated in the funding round.

Founded by Jamie Rosenberg, ClassWallet is a platform for school systems to disburse and track funds. The company also is gaining traction with university athletic departments for per diem expense management, as well as with states for education savings account management, an integral component to school choice.  ClassWallet is currently used in over 850 schools and is working in some of the largest school districts in the United States, including Los Angeles Unified and Polk County, the first and 30th largest districts, respectively.  ClassWallet plans to release the latest version of its platform in January 2017, which will include a highly innovative solution to allow schools to accept cash payments from parents without taking cash into the school building or classroom.  Several districts are already working with ClassWallet to implement the solution.  In partnership with Brentwood, ClassWallet will accelerate its product roadmap and invest in sales and marketing efforts to help expand distribution.

ClassWallet is the most recent investment in Brentwood Associates’ latest fund, Brentwood Associates Private Equity V, L.P., which held a final close in December of 2014.  Other current and prior education investments include Excelligence Learning Corp., The Great Courses, Classroom Connect and Educational Publishing Corp.

About ClassWallet

ClassWallet is the leading end-to-end digital solution to manage funding within school systems.  The platform combines funds disbursement, e-commerce, a reloadable debit card and tracking in a fully integrated manner designed for maximum simplicity and accountability.  ClassWallet brings accountability to a $23 billion system that relies heavily on cash, checks, and purchase orders that add up to 40 percent transaction costs and a fund-spend-track lifecycle that takes weeks.  ClassWallet reduces these transaction costs to less than 5 percent, and the transaction lifecycle to same day.  For more information about ClassWallet, please visit www.classwallet.com.

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