BC Partners sells sports bike maker

BC Partners has realised its investment in a 49% interest in KTM, the Austrian sports motorcycle maker it helped take private in 1999.

Pan-European LBO sponsor BC Partners has agreed to sell its 48.9 percent interest in Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer KTM to Cross Holdings, a listed entity that already controls most of the KTM shares not owned by BC.

Cross Holdings, which is quoted on the Viennese stock exchange, has completed a €57 million ($76 million) rights issue to help fund the purchase. On completion, Cross will hold 89 percent of the company’s shares. The other significant shareholder in KTM is Hofer Privatstiftung.

The valuation of BC Partners’ interest in KTM has not been disclosed. 

KTM became part of BC’s portfolio in 1999 when the group backed a €163 million public-to-private of the company. According to Hermann Wendelstadt, a senior executive based out of BC Partners’ Hamburg office, company turnover has quadrupled during the period since the delisting, boosting KTM’s value and helping to make it a successful investment for the firm.

BC Partners was advised by members of the Munich office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy led by Peter Nussbaum.

BC Partners, which in October acquired retail group Picard Surgeles from fellow private equity house Candover for around €1.3 billion, is currently pre-marketing its eighth private equity fund.

In July, the group confirmed that three of its senior partners, Michel Guillet, John Burgess and Alberto Tazartes, would retire within 18 months.