As well as being an attractive asset going into a downturn, SF-Filter caters to many growing end-markets, such as mid- to heavy-duty commercial vehicles, agricultural and construction machinery, manufacturing processes, production lines, machines and robotics, and HVAC and water purification. The investment case projected growth of c.7% per annum, notably higher than the sector overall.
In addition, as machine applications have increased in complexity, so have their filtration requirements and the replacement frequency cycle. The company’s filters are considered indispensable and include industrial and mobile applications.
The filters also have an important role in health and safety. “Filters protect equipment, processes and the environment,” says Roman. “There is the environmental and social element of protecting our planet and population and the company is working on various ESG initiatives to improve these features further.” This aspect is further underpinned by growing regulations to ensure workplaces such as vehicle cabins and factories have minimum standards of air quality.
The business also has a local presence in Germany, Austria, Poland and France, allowing it to serve more than 90% of its customers, within 24 hours, in a 600km radius.
SF-Filter is among the leading players in the fragmented market for filtration distribution . It has a very large and diversified product portfolio, allowing it to serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to its 27,000 customers, with a churn rate in mid-single digits. It has a specialist salesforce with technical know-how and long average tenure, who are versed in OEM/OES filters as well as premium private labels. Meanwhile, the wider market consists of much smaller distributors.
“This represents a big opportunity for consolidation,” says Roman.