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Nordic Capital acquires car trim maker

The Swedish mid-market private equity firm has announced the purchase of an 82 percent stake in Plastal from Gilde, GE Equity and BBL Private Equity.

Nordic Capital, the Stockholm-based mid-market private equity firm, has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Swedish car trim manufacturing company Plastal Group.
 
The value of the acquisition, from current owners led by Dutch private equity firm Gilde Investment Management, was not disclosed.
 
Plastal supplies injection-moulded bumpers, plastic interior parts and decorative trim to the European automotive industry. Its customers include Volvo, Saab, Opel, GM and Fiat.
 
The company is headquartered in Kungälv, Sweden, and also has production sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, and Spain. Last year it had revenues of around SEK 3.8 billion ($566 million, €423 million) and employed 2,100 people.
 
Gilde acquired a 90 percent stake in the company in an MBO in September 2001. It later syndicated part of its investment to GE Equity, the private equity division of General Electric, and BBL Private Equity, an arm of BBL Bank, the Belgian branch of ING Group and the country's second largest bank.
 
Anders Hultin, a partner at Nordic, said in an interview that the firm had been attracted to Plastal because of the strength of its market position, management team and customer relationships. He also said that it operated in a fragmented market, with significant potential for restructuring.
 
Following the transaction, with is expected to close in February 2005 subject to regulatory approval, the company's management will own an 18 percent share in the company and Nordic the remainder. The existing management team, led by CEO Christer Palm, will remain in place. Hultin said that the intention was to grow the company both organically and through acquisitions, with the aim of floating it in three to five years.
 
Founded in 1989, Nordic Capital is focused on Nordic middle market companies. The firm's investment strategy is to use Nordic companies in fragmented industries as platforms for acquisitions and consolidation.
 
Plastal is the latest investment made from the 2002 vintage €1.5 billion Nordic Capital Fund V. Recent months have seen significant deal activity by the firm, including its SEK1.37 billion investment in Swedish fashion retail chain KappAhl, and investments in electronic payment solution company Point International and IT consultancy Personec.