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VR Equitypartner: Kälte Eckert acquires stake in Günther Kältetechnik

3. Decem­ber 2019

Frank­furt am Main/ Mark­grö­nin­gen — Kälte Eckert GmbH, a port­fo­lio company of VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner based in Mark­grö­nin­gen (Ludwigs­burg district), is acqui­ring a majo­rity stake in Günther Kälte­tech­nik in an add-on tran­sac­tion. The seller of the shares is Jörg Günther, previously sole share­hol­der and mana­ging direc­tor. He will remain on board unch­an­ged after the closing of the tran­sac­tion, and the company name will be conti­nued. With the acqui­si­tion, Kälte Eckert plans to drive growth, expand its service network and recruit quali­fied employees. In addi­tion, Günther Kälte­tech­nik has specia­li­zed know-how in the field of special plant engi­nee­ring. In the future, Kälte Eckert’s exper­tise in the field of natu­ral refri­ger­ants will help Günther Kälte­tech­nik to offer new products and services to exis­ting custo­mers and to tap into new custo­mer groups.

Günther Kälte­tech­nik, based in Plüder­hau­sen (Rems-Murr district), was foun­ded in 1965 and is a refri­gera­tion plant manu­fac­tu­rer focu­sing on the cate­ring and food sector. With 15 employees, the company offers all services rela­ted to assem­bly and instal­la­tion as well as for service and main­ten­ance of refri­gera­tion systems. At the same time, Günther Kälte­tech­nik has been on a strong growth course for years, with an annual growth rate of around 10 percent.

VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner had acqui­red a majo­rity stake in Kälte Eckert GmbH in August 2017 to support further growth as part of a plat­form stra­tegy. The long-estab­­lis­hed company, which was foun­ded in 1966 and has around 50 employees, is to act as a plat­form for further acqui­si­ti­ons in the dyna­mic refri­gera­tion equip­ment market, which is domi­na­ted by medium-sized compa­nies. Kälte Eckert, run by brothers Michael and Holger Eckert, specia­li­zes in special plant engi­nee­ring for commer­cial refri­gera­tion with a focus on commer­cial kitchens, indus­try and air condi­tio­ning. In addi­tion, the company is the nati­on­wide tech­no­logy leader in the field of alter­na­tive ecolo­gi­cal cool­ants. Custo­mers include major corpo­ra­ti­ons such as Daim­ler, UniCredit and LBBW.

Chris­tian Futter­lieb (photo), Mana­ging Direc­tor at VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner, says: “The invest­ment in Günther Kälte­tech­nik is a success­ful first step in consist­ently imple­men­ting our plat­form stra­tegy with Kälte Eckert. Toge­ther, we will further deve­lop the two compa­nies through know­ledge trans­fers and expand know-how in the areas of special plant engi­nee­ring and natu­ral refrigerants.”

Michael Eckert, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Kälte Eckertadds: “We are very plea­sed to be joining a part­ner whose culture and range of services are an excel­lent fit for us. Günther Kälte­tech­nik is charac­te­ri­zed by excel­lently trai­ned employees and loyal regu­lar custo­mers. On our growth course, we want to promote the employees and give long-term perspec­ti­ves in this exci­ting future market.”

Jörg Günther, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Günther Kälte­tech­nik, comments: “Our part­ners­hip is a logi­cal step. Since the first contact with Mr. Eckert, a strong rela­ti­ons­hip of mutual trust has deve­lo­ped. Toge­ther we can now offer a wider range of products and services. In addi­tion, we are expan­ding the service network as well as the coverage of on-call services, which will bene­fit all customers.”

VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner GmbH at a glance
VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner is one of the leading equity finan­ciers in Germany, Austria and Switz­er­land. The company supports medium-sized family busi­nes­ses in a goal-orien­­ted manner and with deca­des of expe­ri­ence in the stra­te­gic solu­tion of complex finan­cing issues. Invest­ment oppor­tu­nities include growth and expan­sion finan­cing, corpo­rate succes­sion or share­hol­der chan­ges. VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner offers majo­rity and mino­rity invest­ments as well as mezza­nine finan­cing. As a subsi­diary of DZ BANK, the central insti­tu­tion of the coope­ra­tive banks in Germany, VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner consist­ently puts the sustaina­bi­lity of corpo­rate deve­lo­p­ment ahead of short-term exit thin­king. VR Equitypartner’s port­fo­lio curr­ently compri­ses around 100 commit­ments with an invest­ment volume of EUR 500 million. www.vrep.de.

Refri­gera­tion Eckert at a glance
Kälte Eckert GmbH specia­li­zes in special plant engi­nee­ring for commer­cial refri­gera­tion with a focus on indus­trial kitchens, indus­trial refri­gera­tion and air condi­tio­ning. In addi­tion, the company is the nati­on­wide tech­no­logy leader in the field of alter­na­tive ecolo­gi­cal cool­ants. Custo­mers include major corpo­ra­ti­ons such as Daim­ler, UniCredit and LBBW. Foun­ded in 1966 by Horst Eckert, the company is now mana­ged by his sons Michael Eckert and Holger Eckert.

Consul­ting firms invol­ved in the tran­sac­tion by VR Equitypartner:

Legal: HEUKING KÜHN LÜER WOJTEK, Stutt­gart, with Dr. Rainer Herschlein and Char­lotte Schmitt
Finan­cial & Tax: Helmer & Part­ner, Heiden­heim, with Dr. Rüdi­ger Frieß
M&A (Cold Eckert): BENTEN Capi­tal, Stutt­gart, with Ulrich Praßler

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