Montagu buys Stabilus from KKR

Montagu Private Equity, the UK-based European private equity firm, has acquired German manufacturer Stabilus from Demag Holding, which is majority-owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Stabilus, a Koblenz-based maker of gas springs, hydraulic equipment and automatic opening and closing systems, has been acquired by mid-market private equity firm Montagu Private Equity for an undisclosed sum. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Montagu has acquired the business from Demag Holding, a diversified German conglomerate operating in the manufacturing and services industries. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the US buyout house, acquired an 81 percent stake in Demag’s portfolio companies in 2002 from Siemens, which retains a 19 percent interest.

In a statement, Montagu said growth would come from the firm’s Asian facility and through new operations in China. Combined with the penetration of new markets, it said it would also seek to expand the customer base with a more proactive approach. Nigel Hammond, head of European investment at Montagu, said Stabilus had “robust growth potential through the application of its engineering excellence to new product development.”

The gas springs and dampers produced by Stabilus are used in the automotive and vehicle assembly sectors and swivel chair manufacture. The firm, which has ten plants in ten countries, posted sales revenues of €364 million in the year to the end of September 2003. It employs around 3,000 staff worldwide, around 1,700 of them at its Koblenz headquarters.

Montagu Private Equity has over £2 billion under management and offices in London, Manchester, Paris, Duesseldorf and Stockholm. Formerly known as HSBC Private Equity, it is owned by management and HSBC, which has a 19.9 percent stake.