Equistone portfolio: Coating specialist Sihl acquires Dietzgen Corporation
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