EQT sells FlexLink to ABN AMRO Capital
EQT I ("EQT") has signed an agreement with ABN AMRO Capital concerning the sale of FlexLink AB.
EQT acquired 90% of the shares in FlexLink AB from AB SKF in August 1997. Under EQT’s ownership, FlexLink has undergone comprehensive development, which has resulted in FlexLink today being a leading supplier of industrial automation equipment to production facilities in the global manufacturing and assembly industry. Several company acquisitions have been carried out during EQT’s ownership, and this has made FlexLink’s product range more complete. In addition, comprehensive investments have been made to develop new products and the number of sales offices has almost doubled during EQT’s time as owner.
FlexLink today has a competitive position in the market for industrial automation. The company has a large and well-diversified customer base and has developed from a supplier of components to offering complete automation solutions for production processes.
FlexLink has 540 employees, with head office in Gothenburg and business activities in 50 countries, including its own sales offices in 21 countries. In 2004 sales amounted to SEK 1.1 billion and EBITA to SEK 153 million, corresponding to an increase of 11% and 31% respectively compared with the previous year.
Jan Ståhlberg, a partner at EQT Partners, comments: "FlexLink has developed under EQT’s ownership from a divisional structure within the SKF Group into a global independent and leading automation Group. FlexLink’s sales during the period have increased by just over 50% and profitability has been good. FlexLink now has a strong company management and a good position from which it can continue to grow."
Fredrik Jönsson, FlexLink’s CEO, comments: "After FlexLink’s strong development during EQT’s time as an owner, I am convinced that with ABN AMRO Capital as new owners we will have the best possible preconditions to continue our growth during the coming years. We have built a platform for continued strong growth consisting of a leading range of products for the global market."
The sale is conditional upon approval by the relevant competition authorities.
Alfred Berg ABN AMRO Corporate Finance and Vinge are advisors to EQT.