A re-financing of their holdings by Dahl's owners will release a total of SEK 2.1 billion. This new capital structure was made possible by the successful performance of the Dahl Group. Ratos receives a cash payment of SEK 928m while still retaining its holding in Dahl.
In spring 1999 EQT and Ratos effected a buyout of Dahl from the stock exchange, with Ratos investing SEK 562m. Following Dahl's delisting, Dahl's board and management were also invited to buy shares in the newly formed Dahl Group on the same terms as EQT and Ratos.
Dahl's operations have shown positive development over the past four years - with strong improvements in sales, earnings and cash flow. The Dahl Group's loans could be repaid at a fast rate and the equity ratio has risen from approximately 25% at the time of the buyout in 1999 to around 45%. The company's interest-bearing net debt in relation to profit before depreciation (EBITDA) now amounts to approximately 1.7 compared with 5.9 in 1999.
As a consequence of this performance the company's owners have decided to create a more effective capital structure in the Dahl Group. Dahl's owners are forming a new company to acquire existing preference and ordinary shares through a combined cash and share offer. The newly formed company is financing the acquisition with newly raised loans and a share issue. This will restore the capital structure created in the Dahl Group in conjunction with the stock exchange buyout in 1999.
Ownership in the Dahl Group will remain largely unchanged, with EQT owning 43%, Ratos 41% and management and non-executive directors 16%.
In accounting terms this transaction, which is booked in December 2002, means that Ratos's consolidated book value of Dahl will be negative and amount to approximately SEK -80m. At the same time, Ratos's liquid assets will be increased by SEK 928m.
Ratos's CEO Arne Karlsson comments: "Dahl was the first acquisition Ratos made under the private equity strategy we launched in 1999. It is with great satisfaction that we see that Dahl's positive performance allows a release of capital of this size. We look forward to additional value growth in Dahl."
Dahl, the Nordic region's leading wholesale company for heating, ventilation and sanitation products, brings together some 2,000 suppliers and 32,000 customers. The company's facilities have some 3,300 employees. In 2002 sales amounted to approximately SEK 12.1 billion (11.7) and pre-tax profit is expected to amount to approximately SEK 435m (351).
For further information, please contact:
Arne Karlsson, CEO Ratos, +46 8 700 17 00
Anna-Karin Celsing, Head of Corporate Communications, Ratos, +46 70 399 62 39