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Deutsche Beteiligungs AG invests in Sjølund A/S

11. Janu­ary 2018

Frank­furt am Main — Deut­sche Betei­li­gungs AG (DBAG) is inves­ting in Sjølund A/S (Sjølund), a manu­fac­tu­rer of alumi­num and steel compon­ents for the wind power, rail­road, construc­tion and engi­nee­ring indus­tries. In a manage­ment buy-out (MBO), DBAG ECF, which is mana­ged by DBAG, will acquire around 51 percent of the shares in Sjølund from the current sole owner and CEO Søren Ravn Jensen.

DBAG will invest up to 4.5 million euros from its balance sheet for its co-inves­t­­ment; in future, it will account for around 21 percent of the shares in Sjølund. The remai­ning appro­xi­mately 49 percent of the shares will in future be held by Søren Ravn Jensen, who will conti­nue to serve as CEO of the company, and other members of the manage­ment team. The purchase agree­ment was signed at the end of Decem­ber and is expec­ted to be comple­ted in Janu­ary 2018. The parties have agreed not to disc­lose the purchase price.

Sjølund is the first invest­ment since the start of the first new invest­ment period of the DBAG ECF, or DBAG ECF I, in June 2017. The manage­ment buyout is also the second majo­rity invest­ment by the fund, which has also selec­tively provi­ded funds for MBOs since expan­ding its invest­ment crite­ria in 2016. Previously, the DBAG ECF had exclu­si­vely inves­ted in compa­nies on a mino­rity basis in order to promote their growth.

Since the previous sole owner and CEO Søren Ravn Jensen joined the company in 1994, Sjølund (www.sjoelund.com) has deve­lo­ped into one of the largest suppliers in the niche market for complex compon­ents made of bent alumi­num and steel. At the company’s head­quar­ters in Sjølund, Denmark, and at a produc­tion site in China, around 110 employees manu­fac­ture compon­ents that account for only a small propor­tion of their custo­mers’ mate­rial costs, but are nevertheless complex in many cases and often safety-rele­­vant. These compon­ents are always manu­fac­tu­red accord­ing to the speci­fic requi­re­ments of the respec­tive custo­mer and distri­bu­ted globally — also via a third loca­tion in the USA. Sjølund also advi­ses its custo­mers on adap­ting products to the manu­fac­tu­ring process (“Design for Manu­fac­tu­ring”). In this way, the company has built up stable custo­mer rela­ti­ons­hips and a strong market posi­tion. It gene­ra­ted a good half of its total sales of around 31 million euros in the wind power indus­try in fiscal year 2016/2017 (Septem­ber 30), mainly with compon­ents for the nacel­les of wind turbi­nes. In the rail segment, Sjølund supplies train manu­fac­tu­rers with struc­tu­ral profiles and compon­ents for exte­rior clad­ding, for example for the front of the rail­car, the window frames or the boar­ding area.

Sjølund’s sales markets, some of which are not very cycli­cal, are expec­ted to grow signi­fi­cantly in the coming years. Drivers of this deve­lo­p­ment are mega­trends such as the use of rene­wa­ble ener­gies, global popu­la­tion growth and incre­a­sing urba­niz­a­tion. On this basis, Sjølund is to conti­nue to grow and expand inter­na­tio­nally — orga­ni­cally and through acqui­si­ti­ons: Busi­ness with exis­ting custo­mers in growth markets such as China and the USA is to be expan­ded; compon­ents for wind turbi­nes are also to be manu­fac­tu­red at the Chinese produc­tion site in the future. German custo­mers curr­ently account for around 35 percent of Sjølund’s sales. Anot­her star­ting point for the stra­te­gic deve­lo­p­ment of the company is the realign­ment of its sales acti­vi­ties. They are to focus more stron­gly on the highly profi­ta­ble mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring sector.

“Sjølund is active in several growth markets at the same time and has by no means exhaus­ted its poten­tial to serve these markets,” said Dr. Rolf Schef­fels (photo), member of DBAG’s Manage­ment Board, on the occa­sion of today’s contract signing. “We see this, in combi­na­tion with its long-estab­­lis­hed custo­mer rela­ti­ons­hips, as the promi­sing basis for the company’s conti­nued posi­tive deve­lo­p­ment — and thus an attrac­tive invest­ment oppor­tu­nity in one of DBAG’s core sectors.”

“Further inter­na­tio­na­liz­a­tion of the busi­ness is a prere­qui­site for Sjølund to reach the next stage of its deve­lo­p­ment,” commen­ted Søren Ravn Jensen, former sole owner and CEO of Sjølund. “We are plea­sed to have an expe­ri­en­ced part­ner in DBAG at our side who can support us with capi­tal and exper­tise in this important phase.”

About DBAG
Deut­sche Betei­li­gungs AG, a listed company, initia­tes closed-end private equity funds and invests along­side DBAG funds in well-posi­­ti­o­­ned medium-sized compa­nies with deve­lo­p­ment poten­tial. DBAG focu­ses on indus­trial sectors in which German SMEs are parti­cu­larly strong by inter­na­tio­nal stan­dards. With this expe­ri­ence, know-how and equity, it streng­t­hens the port­fo­lio compa­nies in imple­men­ting a long-term, value-enhan­cing corpo­rate stra­tegy. The entre­pre­neu­rial invest­ment approach makes DBAG a sought-after invest­ment part­ner in the German-spea­­king region. The capi­tal mana­ged and advi­sed by the DBAG Group amounts to appro­xi­mately 1.8 billion euros.

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