EQT Partners, the private equity firm sponsored by Investor AB, has made its first acquisition in the European security market, paying an undisclosed sum for a 70 per cent in Bewator, a Swedish manufacturer of access security systems.
Bewator is based in Solna, Sweden, with technology research sites in Cambridge. Established in 1995, the company employs 275 people across Europe and reported annual turnover last year of SKr520m (E50m).
The European security market is currently growing at around ten per cent per year and EQT partner Fredrik Åtting believes it is a sector with strong potential. “The European market is currently very fragmented and we plan to play a major part in the sector’s consolidation, both in terms of expanding Bewator’s product range and its customer base.”
The deal came about when company owners Rune Andersson and Bo Lundquist decided to sell their majority interest through a limited auction held by Lehman Brothers. “We were already familiar with the vendors prior to the announcement of the sale,” says Åtting. “The business has one of the most established product portfolios in Europe.”
The investment is the second to be made from the firm’s E130m EQT Finland fund, which was launched in 1999. Future investments in Bewator will also be made from the same fund. “There is sufficient capital in the Finland fund to back future growth for Bewator, both in terms of organic expansion and aggressive acquisitions.”
EQT’s most recent deal was the consolidation of German fragrance businesses Haarmann & Reimer and Dragoco in July, funded by the firm's E2bn European fund. The businesses formalised their merger arrangement last month, with Åtting saying the combined businesses were making ‘good progress’.