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Equistone portfolio company headed for US market leadership: Coating specialist Sihl acquires Dietzgen Corporation

07 Jan 2022

The Sihl Group, a company with a rich tradition headquartered in Ostermundigen, Bern, which has formed part of the portfolio of investment firm Equistone since 2016, has acquired the Dietzgen Corporation from Tampa, Florida (USA). This makes the specialist in the coating and finishing of paper, films and fabrics one of the leading providers of coated high-end print media in the US and offers the company major logistical advantages across the country.

Sihl’s company history stretches back well over one hundred years. With locations in Switzerland, Germany and the US, the company has specialised in the coating and finishing of papers, films and fabrics for its international customer base. The successful provider of innovative premium coatings in the high-growth digital printing market employs more than 350 people and supplies partners in a remarkably wide range of industries, from automotive through logistics and tourism to packaging. Funds advised by Equistone acquired a majority stake in the Group in mid-2016.

With its subsidiary Sihl Inc. headquartered in Fiskeville in the US state of Rhode Island, which acts as a processing and distribution centre, Sihl already enjoys a strong position in the North and South American markets. The company’s offering ranges from CAD media and synthetic print substrates through printable wallpaper to flexible packaging foils. The company’s position on the US market has now been significantly expanded following its investment in Dietzgen, a well-known provider of processing and distribution services for digital print media such as paper, films and fabrics. Established in 1989, the privately-managed company has an extensive dealer network and, thanks to substantial inventory holdings at six exceptionally convenient sites, is known for its nationwide just-in-time deliveries. Its media brands Dietzgen (CAD and Reprographic applications), Magic (Signage), Museo (Photo and Fine Art) and Validation (Proof) are very well established.

Combining strengths with an exceptional offering

The acquisition of Dietzgen marks an important milestone in the strategic development of the Sihl Group and is also the first acquisition since Equistone’s investment. “This additional investment not only significantly strengthens the Sihl Group’s market position in the US, it also improves the underlying conditions for logistics and distribution – the benefits for both sides should not be overlooked”, says Stefan Maser, Managing Director and Partner at Equistone. “Together with the management we want to take advantage of the additional tailwind and our collective expertise in order to ramp up growth and create synergy effects, both in the US and beyond”, adds Equistone Director David Zahnd.

“This transaction underscores our vision as a leading provider of coated high-end print media in the US”, notes Peter K. Wahsner, CEO of the Sihl Group. “The combination of Dietzgen’s processing, logistics and distribution capacity with Sihl’s innovative products and service level provides for an outstanding offering for our customers. Not only will the new platform allow us to drive forward the growth in our established markets, thanks to Dietzgen’s strategically sited locations we will also be able to expand our flexible packaging business in the US.” The CEO of Dietzgen Corporation, Darren Letang, also welcomes the investment: “This is a fantastic step. Our combined strengths create a unique opportunity for both companies and their customers. My management team and I are looking forward to the Group’s future.”

Stefan Maser, David Zahnd and Roman E. Hegglin led the transaction on behalf of Equistone Partners Europe. Equistone was advised during this transaction by Bär & Karrer (Legal CH, Structuring, Tax), Munich Strategy (Commercial), Deloitte (Financial) and Wuersch & Gering (Legal and Tax US). The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

 

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