VR Equitypartner: Kälte Eckert acquires stake in Günther Kältetechnik
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