Capvis moves to expand auto platform

The Swiss private equity firm has acquired the European activities of US automotive supplier group Findlay Industries for an undisclosed sum.

Capvis Equity Partners, the Swiss private equity firm, has acquired the European activities of Findlay Industries, the US automotive supplier group. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal, primarily financed with equity, sees Capvis acquire the European arm of the business that includes four sites in Germany, one in Poland, one in the UK and one in Spain.

Munich-headquartered Findlay Europe supplies automotive interior systems and components and employs around 1500 people across the seven sites. The business generated revenue of €240 million ($290 million) in 2003.

In a statement, Capvis said it intends to merge Findlay Europe with portfolio company, The Polytec Group, which also manufactures automotive interior parts. Capvis acquired 67 percent of Polytec in an MBO in 2000 and any combination of the groups would require merger clearance.

The transaction represents Capvis’ first German investment from the €340 million Capvis Equity LP II Fund. The mid-market buyout fund closed in June 2003, ahead of its original target of €300 million.

Capvis was formerly a division of Swiss Bank Corporation and then became SBC Equity Partners. In 1999, it spun out to become Capvis Equity Partners in which UBS retained a minority stake. In October 2002, the investment team bought out UBS’ stake and now owns 100 percent of the firm.