Deutsche Beteiligungs, Harvest Partners buy from Akzo Nobel

The two private equity firms have bought paper business Casco from the Dutch group for E114m.

German private equity firm Deutsche Beteiligungs AG has teamed up with US private equity firm Harvest Parters to back the MBO of Casco Impregnated Papers from Akzo Nobel. Although still subject to anti-trust approval the companies expect to confirm the investment in late June.

The deal values Casco at E114m and the two firms have jointly invested alongside existing Casco management. The decorative paper and foil producer enjoyed sales of E265m in 2002 and is debt free. Akzo Nobel has, like many major conglomerates, reviewed its portfolio of businesses and has elected to focus on a smaller number of core operations. Casco's sale originated from this strategic review.

'Casco ideally meets the standards of our investment policy,' said Reinhard Löffler, member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG: 'Casco is well poised in the market, and it is profitable. We plan to achieve further rises in sales and earnings through entries into new markets and new products.' 

Deutsche Beteiligungs used its DBAG Fund IV, a co-investment fund, to make the investment. Casco’s management is also taking part in the transaction. The firm was an investor in Harvest Partners’ $588m Fund IV, which closed last July.

Harvest Partners has made one deal with the fund. In April 2002, the firm acquired exterior building products company Associated Materials in a $436m privatisation.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Beteiligungs AG is one of a small number of publicly listed private equity firms. Although operating for nearly 40 years, the firm was repurposed in 1996 and since that time has invested nearly E500m in medium size businesses, with a particular emphasis on those operating in German-speaking markets.

New York-based Harvest Partners was founded in 1981 and has invested in 60 portfolio companies since that time, focusing on mid-market transactions in the manufacturing, distribution and speciality services sectors. The firm has $1bn under management and has a particular appetite for cross border investments involving US and Western European companies.