Doughty Hanson sells Soudronic

Gilde Buy-out Fund of the Netherlands and the Swiss CapVis Equity Fund has backed the management of Soudronic in the secondary buy-out of the company.

Dutch Gilde Buy-out Fund and Swiss CapVis Equity Fund, Switzerland, have backed a CHF340m (E222m) management buy-out of Soudronic, a supplier to the metal packaging and automotive industry.

Gilde and CapVis will together own a majority stake in the company, while management retains a minority stake. Barclays Capital, mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, and Credit Suisse, senior co-arranger, provided the senior and mezzanine debt.

The acquisiton, from vendor Doughty Hanson, the international private equity group, ranks among the larger management buy-outs completed in Switzerland to date.

Felix van der Schaar, chief executive of Soudronic, said: “We are convinced that we can benefit from our excellent market positions to further grow our company going forward. With the financial backing of Gilde and CapVis, I now especially anticipate increased potential for our automotive division, where our leading laser welding systems (both for tailored and tubular steel blanks) have already proven to offer clear benefits to our customers.”

Soudronic had net sales of CHF254m in 2000 and an EBIT of CHF29.2m or 11.5 per cent of net sales. In 1999 the company had net sales of CHF243.6m and an EBIT of CHF26m or 10.7 per cent of net sales. Soudronic has operations in Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany and sales and service offices worldwide. The company employs 700 people.