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Industri Kapital acquires Gardena

Industri Kapital has announced its second deal in a week with the acquisition of a German gardening equipment company.

The Industri Kapital 2000 fund is providing equity for the acquisition of Gardena Holding, a European gardening equipment company based in Ulm, Germany.

Industri Kapital, who will acquire a majority stake from the Kress and Kastner families, plans to further develop the firm and eventually acquire full ownership of Gardena, which had sales in excess of E390m in 2001.

Industry sources suggest that Industri Kapital will pay about E300m for the 10 million ordinary shares held by the Kress and Kastner families and the 1.4 million preference shares. Goldman Sachs was appointed by the vendor families to look for a buyer in September 2001. Electra Partners Europe was also believed to be interested in acquiring Gardena.

The deal will be effected through a tender offer for Gardena at around E26 a share, a premium of 43 per cent to the current share price. However, the final price will be decided by the German takeover authority, the Bundesaufsichtsamt für den Wertpapierhandel (BaWe). Credit Suisse First Boston acted as advisor to Industri Kapital.

Detlef Dinsel, Managing Director of Industri Kapital’s Hamburg office said: “We view Gardena as a very attractive investment. We plan to support Gardena in strengthening its position as the European leader in the garden equipment sector. There is great potential for the business to grow organically and through selected additional investments.”

Industri Kapital is a European private equity firm with equity capital under management in excess of E3bn from Nordic, European and international institutional investors. Since its formation in 1989, Industri Kapital has, through its four funds, carried out 44 strategic investments. Industri Kapital’s funds are currently the main owners of 25 companies with a total turnover exceeding E11bn.