Aurelius seals three deals in a week

The listed German buyout group has had the busiest week in its history, exiting steelmaker KWE and making two further investments, including a majority stake in the venerable German drinks producer Berentzen, while lining up another portfolio company for an imminent sale.

Aurelius, which invests in corporate spin-offs and distressed assets in Germany, has acquired home-shopping channel RTL Shop and 75 percent of the drinks producer Berentzen. In the same week it has sold its steel construction service provider KWE to Austrian construction company Kresta Group.

The acquisition of Berentzen is Aurelius’ largest transaction ever, although financial details were not disclosed. The drinks stable was purchased from various stakeholders, including the Berentzen family.

Berentzen is a well established company in the German drinks market, marketing brands including Puschkin Vodka, Bommerlunder, Linie Aquavit and the core brand Berentzen. In 2007, the company recorded gross revenues of €433 million ($677 million; £341 million) and an operating loss.

Bommerlunder:
a brand in need
of refreshment 

Ingo Middelmenne, spokesman for Aurelius, told PEO it hoped to return the company to profitability within the next twelve months.

Aurelius has simultaneously completed the acquisition of RTL Shop, a shopping channel with a turnover of €83 million, from German media conglomerate Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. 

Middelmenne also said that its portofolio company Ghotel, the budget hotel group which it bought from Deutsche Post in September 2006, has now been successfully restructured and is ready for exit. 

He said: “This has been an exceptional week for the company. These latest investments have pushed us past the €1 billion barrier in terms of annualised revenue from the whole portfolio.”