Ventizz to exit solar cell producer for €546.4m

The German buyout firm has agreed to sell its majority stake in ersol Solar Energy, netting €14m for investor HarbourVest Global Private Equity Trust.

German mid-market buyout firm Ventizz Capital Partners has agreed to exit its majority stake in ersol Solar Energy to German technology and services provider Robert Bosch.

Ventizz will sell its 50.45 percent stake for €546.4 million ($848 million) translating to a share price of €101. The price is 63 percent higher than the share’s value at the end of May (€61) and significantly greater than the €42 share price when ersol first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2005.

The technology-focussed firm’s Ventizz Capital Fund II first invested in solar cell producer ersol in 2004 and became majority owner in 2005.

“The Ventizz II fund has supported ersol during the set-up and rapid expansion stages,” said ersol Supervisory Board chairman Helmut Vorndran in a statement. “The sale to a long-term oriented industrial partner is the best option for ersol and the fund investors,” he added.

Ventizz II investor HarbourVest Global Private Equity Trust (HVPE) expects to receive distributions of €14 million at the conclusion of the agreed transaction. HVPE is a Euronext Amsterdam listed private equity fund of funds with a market cap of $830 million. The fund is managed by Boston-based private equity investment firm HarbourVest Partners.

Ventizz is one of HVPE’s largest underlying managers and ersol Solar Energy is one of the fund’s largest underlying investments.

Ventizz II closed on €60 million in March 2005 after six months of fundraising. The firm has since raised two additional funds in quick succession. Fund III closed on €125 million in 2006 and Fund IV closed on €450 million in January.