CapVis buys textile company

The Swiss mid-market firm has acquired an 85 percent stake in the 146 year old Benninger Textile Systems.

Swiss private equity firm CapVis has acquired Uzwil, Switzerland-based textile machine company Benninger Textile Systems for an undisclosed sum.

CapVis will acquire an 85 percent stake in the company, with its management team taking the remainder. Franz Koller, who joined the company as a managing director in 2001, will become its new CEO.

The vendor was Charles Peter, whose family founded the company 146 years ago and who has been the sole shareholder for 33 years.

The acquisition was made by the €340 million ($411 million) 2003 vintage fund, CapVis II. The terms of the deal are retroactive, with the buyers deemed to have taken ownership on July 1st 2005.

Rolf Friedli, a partner at CapVis, told PEO that the firm had been attracted by the company’s leading role in its niche, the sector’s growth potential, and an element of diversification in the company’s business. “It basically has three businesses, and they’re not all moving in sync,” he said.

The deal does not include the group’s cast iron subsidiary Benninger Guss or its real estate arm Benninger Immobilien, which remain under their current owners.

Benninger Textile Systems supplies machines, plants and other systems to the weaving preparation, finishing and tyre cord impregnation segments of the textile industry. The company employs 700 people at its offices in Uzwil and Zell, Germany, and at subsidiaries in Italy, India, Hong Kong and mainland China.

It is expecting sales of CHF 250 million (€162 million; $196 million) for the 2005 financial year