CapVis, Quadriga back Zellweger MBO

A team of Swiss and German private equity investors has backed a SFr175m management buyout of at Zellweger Uster, a Swiss-based textile monitoring systems developer.

Swiss private equity house CapVis has teamed up with German counterpart Quadriga Capital to back a management buyout of the Zellweger Uster division of Swiss industrial company Zellweger Luwa.


The two firms have participated as lead investors in the transaction, which has a total value of SFr175m (E118.5m). Up to SFr15m of the total consideration will be deferred as an earn-out. The sale will provide Zellweger Luwa with proceeds of SFr115m.


Zellweger Luwa decided to sell its Zellweger Uster division in order to concentrate on its two strategic divisions, Zellweger Analytics and Luwa. The proceeds of the sale will be distributed to shareholders via a special dividend.


Zellweger Uster, which will be renamed Uster Technologies on completion, is a supplier of quality controlling systems for testing fibre, yarn and fabric in the textile industry. The division achieved sales in 2001 of SFr158.2m and has 470 employees based out of Uster (Switzerland) and Knoxville (USA). Ten members of the Uster management are participating in the management buyout. The head office and manufacturing facilities will remain in Uster.


Swiss-based CapVis Equity Partners participates in management buyouts of mid-sized companies in Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany. CapVis has successfully invested in 25 companies in Europe since 1990. Last year, the firm teamed up with the Dutch Gilde Buy-out Fund in a SFr340m management buyout of Soudronic, a supplier to the metal packaging and automotive industry.


Quadriga Capital focuses on mid-size and large buyout opportunities in Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Austria and other neighbouring countries. Present Quadriga Capital portfolio companies include German injection-moulding company IBS Brocke, and P.A.L.M. Microlaser Technologies.