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DBAG acquires stake in vhf Group

Photo: Carbide tools manu­fac­tu­red by the vhf group (Photo: vhf)
5. August 2022

Frank­furt am Main/ Ammer­buch — Deut­sche Betei­li­gungs AG (DBAG) invests in the vhf Group (vhf), a manu­fac­tu­rer of compu­­ter-aided milling machi­nes for appli­ca­ti­ons in denti­stry and indus­try. DBAG acqui­res around one fifth of the shares in vhf camfac­ture AG, which will act as the Group’s holding company in the future. The parties have agreed not to disc­lose the purchase price of the mino­rity inte­rest. The execu­tion of the parti­ci­pa­tion takes place at short notice and is not subject to any reser­va­tions. The aim of the invest­ment is to support the further inter­na­tio­nal growth of the company and to bring about capi­tal market readiness.

With its invest­ment in vhf, DBAG is ente­ring into a long-term commit­ment: DBAG finan­ces long-term invest­ments exclu­si­vely from its balance sheet, thus not inves­ting along­side a DBAG fund. The invest­ment hori­zon of a long-term invest­ment goes beyond the usual term of a private equity fund. The new invest­ment is the fourth long-term invest­ment in the portfolio.

vhf (www.vhf.de), based in Ammer­buch (Baden-Würt­­te­m­­berg, Germany), deve­lops and manu­fac­tures compu­­ter-control­­led milling machi­nes that are mainly used by commer­cial dental labo­ra­to­ries and dentists in their own labo­ra­to­ries for the fabri­ca­tion of dental resto­ra­ti­ons. Anot­her high-growth part of sales is gene­ra­ted with machi­nes for selec­ted appli­ca­ti­ons in indus­try. The complete control elec­tro­nics, the soft­ware as well as the milling tools are also deve­lo­ped and manu­fac­tu­red in the vhf group. The company bene­fits from the special system archi­tec­ture of its machi­nes: they can be combi­ned with all common appli­an­ces and third-party soft­ware used to fabri­cate dental resto­ra­ti­ons. On the market, they are consi­de­red parti­cu­larly reli­able and are valued for their good price-perfor­­mance ratio. More than 10,000 machi­nes in dental prac­ti­ces and prac­tice labo­ra­to­ries form a good basis for a growing tool and service business.

The company was foun­ded in 1988; the company foun­ders have been the sole share­hol­ders to date. Mean­while, vhf employs about 350 employees, most of them at the head­quar­ters in Ammer­buch as well as at the second German produc­tion site in Fürth (Bava­ria). There are sales offices in New York and Shang­hai. Last year, the group achie­ved sales of a good 46 million euros. Sales have grown signi­fi­cantly recently — an annual growth rate of a good 17 percent is on the cards for the years between 2018 and 2021. In addi­tion to the intro­duc­tion of a new genera­tion of machi­nes, inter­na­tio­na­liz­a­tion also contri­bu­ted to this. In the mean­time, 40 percent of sales are gene­ra­ted outside Europe, prima­rily in the USA and China; in these two coun­tries, spen­ding on dental treat­ment is growing parti­cu­larly stron­gly. Further custo­mers are to be acqui­red there.

“We are plea­sed that DBAG has once again been able to win the trust of the share­hol­ders of a family-owned company with a custom-fit equity solu­tion,” said Jannick Hune­cke, member of the DBAG Manage­ment Board on the occa­sion of the signing of the agree­ment. “We are now inves­ting in a company that serves a struc­tu­rally growing, hardly cycli­cal market with very high own value crea­tion and has shown in the past that it is growing very profi­ta­bly — this also makes the invest­ment very attrac­tive for DBAG, espe­cially in the current environment.”

Frank Benzin­ger, one of the company’s foun­ders and Chair­man of the Board of vhf camfac­ture AG, empha­si­zes not only the finan­cial but also the substan­tive contri­bu­tion of DBAG: “With our new share­hol­der, we are well posi­tio­ned to achieve our growth targets and, in the process, to further deve­lop our company struc­tu­rally as well.”

Deut­sche Betei­li­gungs AG, a listed company, initia­tes closed-end private equity funds and invests — predo­mi­nantly along­side DBAG funds — in well-posi­­ti­o­­ned medium-sized compa­nies with poten­tial One focus for many years has been indus­try. An incre­a­sing share of equity invest­ments is accoun­ted for by compa­nies in the growth sectors of broad­band telecom­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons, IT services/software and health­care. The long-term, value-enhan­cing entre­pre­neu­rial invest­ment approach makes DBAG a sought-after invest­ment part­ner. Assets mana­ged and advi­sed by the DBAG Group amount to 2.5 billion euros.

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