US private equity firm Carlyle Group has been chosen as preferred bidder to take private German automotive parts manufacturer Edscha, with a bid of E26.50 per share valuing the business at around E220m. Carlyle has seen off competition from rival US fund Bain Capital, which has recently been active in German market, and Swedish firm Industri Kapital.
Lazard was advising the vendor group which includes German private equity investor Deutsche Beteiligungs, while Credit Suisse First Boston advised Carlyle.
The deal is Germany’s second major automotive parts buyout in 2002. In late June, Doughty Hanson completed the acquisition of Auto-Teile-Unger Group (ATU), Germany's largest independent car parts stockist and auto repair company. The price was not disclosed, although ATU reported turnover in excess of E1bn in 2001.
Edscha listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 1999, following an MBO in 1997 backed by Deutsche Beteiliungs as well as other principal investors and led by managing director Horst Kuschetzki, who shares a 23 per cent stake in the business with fellow senior managers.
Carlyle's offer constitutes a 10 per cent premium on the share's average price over the past three months. Deutsche Beteiligungs said today in a statement that the sale of its 14.8 per cent stake in Edscha corresponds to a 25 per cent yield on its investment.
Despite an overall lack of activity in the German buyout market, the automotive and related industries are seen as one area of potential for buyout firms. Deutsche Beteiligungs, which recently held a E120m first close on its fourth fund, has already made two more investments in the automotive parts sector since the fund was launched late last year. The first of these, AKsys, has since acquired Fiast Automotive Group, also based in Germany.