The owners of bed manufacturer Hilding Anders AB have signed an agreement for the sale of 100% of the shares in of Hilding Anders to the private equity firm Investcorp, a private equity firm. Investcorp intends to continue to develop grow Hilding Anders's position as the leading European bed manufacturer.
Hilding Anders was founded in 1939 in southern Sweden and was for many years a local manufacturer of beds and mattresses. During the past five years the company has embarked on a program of European expansion. The Group's success is rooted in its acquisition strategy, unique production know-how and well-balanced product mix. In 2002 Group sales totaled SEK3,656m and more than four million beds were delivered across Europe. The Hilding Anders Group has 2,200 employees, 400 of whom are based in Sweden.
"I have worked for the Hilding Anders Group since 1975. And about 15 years ago my wife and I became the principal owners when we took over the business from my father-in-law, Olle Andersson. I'm comforted that Hilding Anders's new owner possesses a broad network of international contacts and has high ambitions for the company's continued growth," says Hilding Anders's Chairman Bengt Adolfsson, who owns about 18% in Hilding Anders AB.
Hilding Anders's expansion has gradually brought in new external owners. When Hilding Anders merged with bed manufacturer APAX Intressenter AB in 1999 Nordic Capital became a large owner. Today Nordic Capital controls about 32% of Hilding Anders. Nordic Capital invested in APAX in 1997.
"The management of Hilding Anders is characterized by entrepreneurial energy and compelling expertise. It has been a privilege to join with management in establishing Hilding Anders as the leading European bed manufacturer," says Morgan Olsson, partner at Nordic Capital.
Ratos's 27% stake originates from the investment in Hilding Anders made by Atle M&A in 1998 under then president Arne Karlsson. The majority of Atle's holdings were transferred to Ratos in connection with its acquisition of Atle in May 2001. Today's sale provides Ratos with an exit gain of approximately SEK 215m based on the book value as of 30 September 2003. Closing of the deal is expected in December and could have a minor effect on the final exit result. Ratos investment in Hilding Anders has generated an average annual return (IRR) of 28%.
"We have been planning to list Hilding Anders for some time and now the company is ready for the stock market," says Ratos CEO Arne Karlsson. "At the same time, the negotiations conducted with Investcorp have resulted in a solution that creates good prospects for the company to focus on continued expansion while entailing an enhanced exit situation for the owners in terms of value.
The preparations for a possible IPO included the recruitment of a new CEO, Anders Pålsson, who will remain in that position even after today's deal.
"Over the past year I have had the good fortune to quickly familiarize myself with Hilding Anders's operations as well as its employees, customers and suppliers," says Anders Pålsson. "I am looking forward to continuing to work together with these people to create an even stronger Hilding Anders."
Closing is subject to approval of relevant competition authorities.
For further information:
Morgan Olsson, Partner Nordic Capital, +46 8 440 50 50
Arne Karlsson, CEO Ratos, +46 8 700 17 00
Bengt Adolfsson, Chairman Hilding Anders, +46 708 49 03 44
Deborah Botwood Smith, Managing Director, Corporate Communications Investcorp, +44 20 7629 6600