Stirling Square Capital Partners [“Stirling Square”], the pan-European private equity firm, today announces that it has signed an agreement to sell its controlling stake in Schoeller Arca Systems to One Equity Partners at an enterprise value of €428m. The founding family Schoeller and management will keep their respective stakes. The deal is the second exit for Stirling Square in the last two months following the $343m sale of Global Design Technologies in May.
Schoeller Arca Systems is the global market leader in rigid plastic packaging systems for materials handling. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company manufactures a broad range of plastic materials-handling products including foldable large containers, intermediate bulk containers, large boxes, pallets, crates and trays for beverages, returnable plastic containers and UN certified pails.
In August 2003 Stirling Square acquired a controlling stake in Schoeller Wavin Systems for €143m from the Schoeller family, who had founded the original business. Schoeller Arca Systems was then created through the acquisition by Schoeller Wavin Systems of Swedish company Arca Systems in February 2005.
As a complex international investment, Schoeller Arca Systems is highly representative of Stirling Square’s strategy of targeting companies that offer potential for operational improvement, growth and profitability through international expansion and cross-border merger activity.
Under Stirling Square’s ownership, Schoeller Arca Systems has enjoyed strong and consistent sales growth and operating profit performance. During the past four years Stirling Square, the management team and the Schoeller family have worked together to invest in new production technology, reconfigure the manufacturing footprint, develop new products, penetrate new markets and divest non-core divisions, thereby transforming the company into a focused global leader.
As a result, revenues have increased from €165m in 2002 to €465m during the last twelve months ending May 2007 and the number of employees from 763 at the end of 2002 to 1,416 today. As a minority shareholder the founding Schoeller family has therefore participated in significant value creation and is rolling over its minority stake in a now much larger business.
Stefano Bonfiglio, who led the investment and exit on behalf of Stirling Square Capital Partners, said:
“During our ownership we have worked with a strong management team to create a genuine global leader. This is Stirling Square’s second exit in as many months and again showcases the type of deals for which we are building a reputation - a complex, cross border transaction, successfully integrating businesses to create an industry leader. We wish the Schoeller Arca team continued success under new ownership.”
Rene Wolfkamp, CEO of Schoeller Arca Systems, said:
“This is a terrific deal for the company and everybody involved. It marks the completion of a successful four years under Stirling Square’s ownership, during which the business has been significantly transformed for the better. Together with One Equity Partners and the Schoeller family, we are excited to be embarking on the next phase of industry consolidation”
Advisers to Stirling Square Capital Partners
Financial: JP Morgan
Legal: Clifford Chance
London, 29 September 2003, Stirling Square Capital Partners ("Stirling Square"), the pan-European private equity firm, is pleased to announce that it has taken control of Netherlands-based Schoeller Wavin Systems N.V. ("SWS") in a €145 million leveraged recapitalisation.
SWS is Europe’s leading designer and manufacturer’ of returnable plastic packaging solutions for enhanced logistics in storage, transport and display.. Typical products include crates, boxes, pallets and dollies for the food, beverage, chemical and retail industries. The company, formed from the merger of German I Swiss Schoeller Plast Group and the Dutch Wavin Trepak Group in 1999, is a clear market leader with a truly global client base including Heineken, Beck’s, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Metro, Deutsche Post, Exxon and Dupont.. SWS has a turnover of c.. €200 million, 13 production facilities in Europe and the United States, and own subsidiaries and licensed partners in 36 countries around the world.
The transaction originated as a result of the Schoeller family’s desire to monetize a portion of their investment in SWS and provide an exit for JP Morgan Partners, a minority investor in the company. By selling a controlling interest to Stirling Square, the Schoeller family achieved their objective of retaining an interest in SWS, releasing funds for other entrepreneurial activities and involving, a partner that could support its ongoing expansion.
On the back of the equity investment of Stirling Square, the company has been able to raise a new long-term debt package, partially utilized to refinance existing debt. This was placed by Augusta Finance acting as advisor to Stirling Square, with NIB Capital Bank N.V. as underwriter and lead mandated arranger.
Stefano Bonfiglio, a partner of Stirling Square, said: "Schoeller Wavin Systems has a very strong business model and leading market position and will benefit from the growth and consolidation of the European packaging industry. We look forward to working with the management team and founding family in identifying and. capitalising on future opportunities." Jakob Farschner, another partner of Stirling Square, added "the deal is a good example of the investments we aim for, working with family owners in Europe to buy into companies with strong market positions and capable management teams, adding value by supporting the expansion of their successful businesses on a pan-European basis."
Martin Schoeller, Chairman of SWS, said: "Stirling Square’s backing and the new debt finance will help us continue to build on the class-leading logistics packaging market positions we currently hold and enable us to expand into targeted niche positions in other material handling and recycling services applications. The deal has been a great solution for all parties involved."