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Equistone makes second investment in a week

The investment in the manufacturer of cutting systems for the tyre industry comes just a few days after Equistone invested in the Charles et Alice Group, a French maker of fruit desserts.

Equistone Partners Europe has bought a majority stake in Karl Eugen Fischer (KEF), a German manufacturer of cutting systems for the tyre industry, according to a statement. 
Financial details of the transaction, which still needs to be approved by competition authorities, were not disclosed. 

Equistone declined to comment beyond the statement. 

The firm, which spun out from Barclays in 2011, plans to stabilise the company’s existing customer base as well as gain new customers in the tyre industry. It also will focus on further improving and broadening machine functionality and the automated production of its cutting systems. 

KEF was founded in 1940 in the German town of Burgkunstadt. The business produces cutting machines which assemble layers and breakers giving the tyre shape and providing stability when driving. The business has more than 450 employees. Last year, its annual sales were approximately €76 million. KEF supplies almost all well-known tyre manufacturers worldwide, and has a focus on emerging countries, including China.

“Working with the existing management team, we will capitalise on the company’s existing potential and help the business to continue to pursue its current expansion strategy,” Peter Hammermann, a senior partner at Equistone, said in the statement. 

The acquisition marks Equistone’s second deal in a week. Last week, it invested in the Charles et Alice Group, a French maker of fruit desserts. 

That deal represented the 12th investment by Equistone’s Fund IV, which closed on €1.5 billion last January. Following the investment in Charles et Alice, the vehicle was 36 percent deployed, according to a source close to the firm.