Lindsay Goldberg invests in Germany

Adding to recent US investment activity in Germany, Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer has paid an undisclosed sum for a minority stake in Wacker Construction Equipment, a family-owned machinery business.

Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer (LGB), a New York-based private equity firm with $2bn under management, has taken a 30 per cent stake in Wacker Construction Equipment, a Munich-based company that manufactures light construction machinery for the building industry.

 

Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

 

The business, which has operations in the US and Germany as well as a manufacturing centre in the Philippines, generated sales last year of E357m. The company’s goods are sold in 40 countries worldwide.

 

Under the deal, Dieter Vogel, managing partner of Bessemer Vogel & Treichl and an advisor to LGB’s European operations, will join Wacker as chairman of the company’s supervisory board. The management board will continue to be comprised of Ulrich Wacker, Georg Sick, Werner Schwind and Richard Mayer.

 

“Wacker has improved its market position in a difficult construction environment,” Vogel said in a statement. “The company has developed a strong brand name by consistently providing the highest quality products and service.”

 

The deal marks the latest foray by a US private equity house into the German market. Earlier this week The Blackstone Group announced a E3.1bn offer for Celanese, the listed industrial chemicals company.

 

Blackstone, alongside Apax Partners also acquired Sulo, the family-owned German waste management company, in a deal worth about E500m.

 

Earlier this month, Boston-headquartered Bain Capital completed its third investment in Germany, acquiring chemicals distributor Brenntag for E1.3bn from Deutsche Bahn.

 

The heightened interest private equity houses in Europe’s largest economy looks likely to push Germany to new record levels of private equity activity in 2003. Yesterday’s Financial Times reported that the level of buyout activity was expected to hit an unprecedented E17bn this year.

 

Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer is a private equity investment fund based in New York with over $2bn of committed capital. The firm seeks to acquire well-managed businesses in the US and Western Europe across a wide range of industries.