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Equistone portfolio: Coating specialist Sihl acquires Dietzgen Corporation

Photo: Stefan Maser, Part­ner at Equi­stone Part­ners Europe
10. Janu­ary 2022

Zurich/Bern — The tradi­­tion-rich Sihl Group, head­quar­te­red in Oster­mun­di­gen, Bern, in the port­fo­lio of the invest­ment company Equi­stone since 2016, has acqui­red Dietz­gen Corpo­ra­tion from Tampa in the US state of Florida. This will make the globally active specia­list for the coating and finis­hing of papers, films and fabrics a leading supplier of coated high-end print media in the USA, where it will gain major logisti­cal advantages.

Sihl can look back on well over a hund­red years of company history and, with sites in Switz­er­land, Germany and the USA, specia­li­zes in the coating and finis­hing of papers, films and fabrics for an inter­na­tio­nal custo­mer base. The success­ful supplier of inno­va­tive premium coatings in the high-growth digi­tal prin­ting market employs more than 350 people and supplies part­ners in a wide range of indus­tries — from auto­mo­tive to logistics and tourism to pack­a­ging. In mid-2016, funds advi­sed by Equi­stone acqui­red a majo­rity stake in the Group.

With the subsi­diary Sihl Inc. loca­ted in Fiske­ville in the US state of Rhode Island as a proces­sing and distri­bu­tion center, Sihl has an already strong posi­tion in the North and South Ameri­can markets. The product range extends from CAD media and synthe­tic print carri­ers to prin­ta­ble wall­pa­pers and flexi­ble pack­a­ging films. The invest­ment in Dietz­gen, a well-known provi­der of proces­sing and distri­bu­tion services for digi­tal print media such as papers, films and texti­les, will now signi­fi­cantly expand the company’s posi­tion in the US market. The priva­tely held company, foun­ded in 1989, has an exten­sive dealer network and is known for just-in-time deli­ve­ries nati­on­wide thanks to exten­sive inven­tory in six parti­cu­larly conve­ni­ent loca­ti­ons. Its media brands Dietz­gen (CAD and Repro appli­ca­ti­ons), Magic (Signage), Museo (Photo and Fine­Art) and Vali­da­tion (Proof) are well established.

Combine strengths with excep­tio­nal offer

The acqui­si­tion of Dietz­gen marks an important mile­stone in the stra­te­gic deve­lo­p­ment of the Sihl Group and is also the first acqui­si­tion since the parti­ci­pa­tion of Equi­stone. “This add-on invest­ment not only streng­t­hens Sihl Group’s market posi­tion in the US quite signi­fi­cantly, but also impro­ves the frame­work condi­ti­ons for logistics and distri­bu­tion at the same time — the bene­fits for both sides cannot be over­loo­ked,” said Stefan Maser, Mana­ging Direc­tor and Part­ner at Equi­stone. “Toge­ther with manage­ment, we intend to leverage the addi­tio­nal tail­wind and shared exper­tise to drive growth and create syner­gies not only in the Ameri­cas,” added Equi­stone Direc­tor David Zahnd.

“This tran­sac­tion rein­for­ces our vision of being the leading provi­der of high-end coated print media in the U.S.,” said Peter K. Wahs­ner, CEO of Sihl Group. “Combi­ning Dietzgen’s conver­ting, logistics and distri­bu­tion capa­bi­li­ties with Sihl’s inno­va­tive products and level of service crea­tes an excep­tio­nal offe­ring for our custo­mers. The new plat­form not only allows us to drive growth in our estab­lis­hed markets, but also to expand our flexi­ble pack­a­ging busi­ness in the U.S. thanks to Dietzgen’s stra­te­gi­cally loca­ted sites.” Dietz­gen Corpo­ra­tion CEO Darren Letang also welco­mes the invest­ment: “This is a great move. Our combi­ned strengths create a unique oppor­tu­nity for both compa­nies and their custo­mers. My manage­ment team and I look forward to the future in the Sihl Group.”

Respon­si­ble for the tran­sac­tion on the part of Equi­stone Part­ners Europe are Stefan Maser (photo), David Zahnd and Roman E. Hegglin.
Equi­stone was advi­sed on this tran­sac­tion by Bär & Karrer (Legal CH, Struc­tu­ring, Tax), Munich Stra­tegy (Commer­cial), Deloitte (Finan­cial) and Wuersch & Gering (Legal and Tax US). The parties have agreed not to disc­lose the purchase price.

About Equi­stone Part­ners Europe
Equi­stone Part­ners Europe is one of the most active Euro­pean equity inves­tors with a team of more than 40 invest­ment specia­lists in seven offices in Germany, Switz­er­land, the Nether­lands, France and the UK. Equi­stone prima­rily invests in estab­lis­hed medium-sized compa­nies with a good market posi­tion, above-average growth poten­tial and an enter­prise value of between EUR 50 and 500 million. Since its foun­da­tion, equity has been inves­ted in around 170 tran­sac­tions in the DACH region and the Nether­lands, mainly mid-market buy-outs. The port­fo­lio curr­ently compri­ses around 50 compa­nies across Europe, inclu­ding 20 active holdings in Germany, Switz­er­land, the Nether­lands and Belgium. Equi­stone is curr­ently inves­ting from its sixth fund, which closed in March 2018 with €2.8 billion.

For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.equistone.ch

About Sihl — SIMPLY THE BETTER SOLUTION
The Sihl Group is the leading quality supplier of prin­ta­ble media in the fast-growing global digi­tal prin­ting market. The exten­sive range inclu­des inno­va­tive premium papers for photo and fine art prin­ting, large-format media for inkjet and laser prin­ting, as well as ther­mal paper and self-adhe­­sive products. Sihl also produ­ces coated papers and films for indus­trial appli­ca­ti­ons. As a high-perfor­­mance, inter­na­tio­nally active company, Sihl has crucial tech­no­lo­gi­cal know-how and broad, in-depth indus­try exper­tise. The Group streng­t­hens the market posi­tion of its custo­mers with future-proof product solu­ti­ons and makes a decisive contri­bu­tion to impro­ving value crea­tion with inno­va­tive, process-suppor­­ting services. Sihl manu­fac­tures in compli­ance with all ecolo­gi­cal, legal, social and occup­a­tio­nal safety standards.

For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.sihl.com

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