CVC, Goldman Sachs exit Novem

CVC Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs have realised their investment in the German car interior business, selling the business to AlpInvest Partners.

AlpInvest Partners, the newly independent and re-branded NIB Capital Private Equity, has completed its first buyout since securing an additional €6 billion ($7.67 billion) mandate from its pension fund owners with the €200 million deal to acquire Novem, a German supplier of interior wood trim to car manufacturers, from CVC Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs.

Funds advised by CVC Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs acquired Novem in 1995 from family members of Novem’s founder Ernst Pelz. Following the divestiture of non-core operations in the late 1990s, Novem developed its core business into the global market leader, with nine facilities located in Western and Eastern Europe, the US and Honduras. Novem has approximately 2,700 employees and posted total revenues of €207 million for the year ending 31 March 2003.


CVC and Goldman Sachs are yet to disclose their return on investment.


Christian Bächle, who led the transaction from AlpInvest’s Frankfurt office, said the strategy for Novem was to build the company’s market position through geographical expansion and acquisitions in the coming years.


Novem is the second investment by AlpInvest Partners in the automotive sector following the acquisition of Carcoustics. Volkert Doeksen, CEO of AlpInvest Partners said the investment “neatly fits within our investment strategy of promising middle market transactions in Germany and the Benelux.”


Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial adviser to CVC Capital Partners and the GS Funds. The sale is expected to close at the end of March 2004.


This month, Alpinvest secured a further mandate from ABP and PGGM, the Dutch pension funds which now directly control the business. ABP and PGGM are two of the largest pension funds in the world with respectively €150 billion and €53 billion of assets under management. Following this investment, private equity will account for nearly 2.5 percent of ABP’s investment portfolio. PGGM will maintain its seven percent portfolio weighting.