Fund managed by ECM acquires majority stake in SIS

23. Decem­ber 2019

Frank­furt am Main/Amelinghausen — The fund German Equity Part­ners V (“GEP V” or the “Fund”), mana­ged by the inde­pen­dent German invest­ment company ECM Equity Capi­tal Manage­ment GmbH (“ECM”), has acqui­red a majo­rity stake in the envi­ron­men­tal tech­no­logy service provi­der SIS GmbH (“SIS”). SIS specia­li­zes in ther­mal off-gas clea­ning and degas­sing and is an inter­na­tio­nal leader in redu­cing emis­si­ons from vola­tile hydro­car­bons in the oil and gas indus­try through the use of mobile combus­tors. The company’s foun­der Guido Soyk will conti­nue to hold a signi­fi­cant stake in SIS and will lead the company into the next phase of its deve­lo­p­ment as mana­ging part­ner. As part of the tran­sac­tion, sales mana­ger Martin van der Veen will be appoin­ted as second mana­ging direc­tor. The parties have agreed not to disc­lose further details of the transaction.

Toge­ther with ECM, the company intends to invest in its further deve­lo­p­ment as well as the targe­ted expan­sion of its manage­ment and sales struc­tures in order to realize the full poten­tial of the solu­ti­ons offe­red by SIS in the exis­ting core market of the oil and gas indus­try and to deve­lop new oppor­tu­nities in further inter­na­tio­nal markets as well as in the chemi­cal indus­try and shipping.

Envi­ron­men­tal tech­no­logy at the inter­face of occup­a­tio­nal safety and climate protec­tion SIS was foun­ded in 2008, based in Ameling­hau­sen, with the aim of impro­ving occup­a­tio­nal safety in the clea­ning of process plants and tanks. For this purpose, as well as for temporary repla­ce­ment when requi­red by custo­mers, the company uses mobile and flexi­ble combus­tion cham­bers deve­lo­ped in-house, which help to avoid the emis­sion of vola­tile hydro­car­bons that are harm­ful to the envi­ron­ment and to health, as well as being highly flamm­a­ble. The mobile combus­tors are provi­ded in shifts with appro­priate skil­led person­nel and on-site service as well as comple­men­tary equip­ment as part of a fully inte­gra­ted and compre­hen­sive service and solu­tion offering.

Over the past five years, incre­a­singly strin­gent emis­si­ons regu­la­tion as a result of the further deve­lo­p­ment of envi­ron­men­tal and climate policy has become a key driver of demons­tra­ted busi­ness growth. SIS custo­mers include leading global compa­nies in the oil, gas and chemi­cal indus­tries such as BASF, BP, Exxon Mobil, DowChe­mi­cal, Sabic, Shell and Total. Reali­zing growth oppor­tu­nities in the core market and opening up the chemi­cal indus­try and ship­ping for SIS solu­ti­ons with ECM as an expe­ri­en­ced part­ner In Germany and the Nether­lands, SIS has a market-leading posi­tion in its previous core indus­try — the Euro­pean refi­nery indus­try. The company still sees consi­derable growth poten­tial here. In addi­tion, there are still great oppor­tu­nities for the use of the solu­ti­ons offe­red by SIS, espe­cially in France and Spain as well as other coun­tries in Western Europe.

Anot­her poten­ti­ally large target market is the Euro­pean chemi­cal indus­try, where SIS already has excel­lent refe­rence custo­mers in BASF and Dow Chemi­cal. In addi­tion, demand for SIS solu­ti­ons is also incre­a­sing in the ship­ping indus­try. The 15 largest seaports in Europe, as well as nume­rous inland ports, trans­port products that emit vola­tile hydro­car­bons on a large scale. With refe­rence projects in the ports of Rotter­dam, Wilhelms­ha­ven and Bilbao, SIS is excel­lently posi­tio­ned for further growth in this segment. ECM has exten­sive expe­ri­ence in suppor­ting growth and inter­na­tio­na­liz­a­tion stra­te­gies in medium-sized compa­nies, which has been proven with nume­rous invest­ments in a wide range of industries.

In part­ners­hip with ECM, SIS intends to expand its exis­ting manage­ment and sales struc­tures and make the tran­si­tion from an owner-mana­­ged to a mana­ge­­ment-mana­­ged company. The common goal is to syste­ma­ti­cally seize the growth oppor­tu­nities that present them­sel­ves through a broa­der market approach in the future and targe­ted expan­sion into previously untap­ped sectors and coun­tries. In addi­tion to stra­te­gic know-how, ECM also brings a long-stan­­ding indus­try network to this part­ners­hip. Guido Soyk, foun­der and CEO of SIS, stated: “We are proud to have been able to deve­lop SIS into the leading company in an extre­mely inte­res­ting and incre­a­singly rele­vant niche for the reduc­tion of emis­si­ons from fugi­tive hydro­car­bons. In order to fully realize the further growth poten­tial for our solu­ti­ons, we have been looking for a part­ner that fits our mid-sized iden­tity, but at the same time has proven that it can success­fully accom­pany ‘hidden cham­pions’ such as SIS on their way to the next stage of deve­lo­p­ment. We look forward to opening a new chap­ter in the history of SIS toge­ther with ECM.”

Alex­an­der Schön­born, Invest­ment Direc­tor at ECM, added: “SIS not only has an impres­sive product and service offe­ring, but also an outstan­ding market posi­tion. It is clear that demand for SIS solu­ti­ons will conti­nue to grow in the face of climate change and incre­a­singly strin­gent regu­la­tion of hazar­dous emis­si­ons. Howe­ver, growing beyond a certain size and core market is often a chal­lenge for foun­ders. As a growth part­ner for medium-sized compa­nies, we have already success­fully accom­pa­nied this process many times and are plea­sed to support SIS on this path with our expe­ri­ence as well as our indus­try network.”

Advi­sors to ECM Equity: GEP V was advi­sed on this tran­sac­tion by Milbank (legal and struc­tu­ring), Andro­schin & Part­ner (market due dili­gence), Ebner Stolz (finance & tax) and Willis (insurance).

Alex­an­der Schön­born, Florian Kähler and Chris­toph Demers are respon­si­ble for the tran­sac­tion at ECM. SIS was advi­sed on the tran­sac­tion by CFC Corpo­rate Finance Contor and Dr. Thomas Bister (M&A and Legal).

About ECM Equity Capi­tal Manage­ment GmbH (“ECM”)
ECM is an inde­pen­dent invest­ment company based in Frank­furt am Main. ECM acted or acts as mana­ger respec­tively advi­sor of the equity funds German Equity Part­ners I‑V with an aggre­ga­ted equity of more than EUR 1 billion. The funds invest prima­rily in estab­lis­hed, medium-sized compa­nies in the context of growth invest­ments and succes­sion arran­ge­ments as well as corpo­rate spin-offs.

About SIS GmbH (“SIS”)
SIS, head­quar­te­red in Ameling­hau­sen, Germany, is the inter­na­tio­nal market leader in the opera­tion of mobile ther­mal exhaust gas clea­ning systems and comple­men­tary equip­ment. The services and tech­no­lo­gies offe­red by SIS play a key role for custo­mers in redu­cing emis­si­ons (espe­cially vola­tile hydro­car­bons). SIS helps them comply with even the stric­test envi­ron­men­tal regu­la­ti­ons. The port­fo­lio of mobile emis­sion control equip­ment is unique on the market in terms of size, quality and safety standards.

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