Equistone sells shareholding in E. WINKEMANN as company takes on new ownership structure
Equistone Partners Europe ("Equistone"), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, has agreed to sell a shareholding in the Plettenberg-based automobile supplier E. WINKEMANN (“the company”). Cathay Capital MidCap Fund, advised by Cathay Capital Private Equity, will acquire a majority stake, with Equistone and E. WINKEMANN’s management remaining invested in the company. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed and completion of the sale is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.
Over its 80-year history, E. WINKEMANN GmbH has become a major manufacturer of precision-stamped metal parts and currently employs 380 people. The company is based in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and primarily supplies prestigious German and international automobile suppliers and manufacturers around the world. Equistone invested in E. WINKEMANN in May 2012. Since then, the company has recorded strong growth, increasing its turnover from c.€66 million in 2012 to c.€91 million in 2017 and growing by more than 10 per cent in the past year alone.
In the past six years, Equistone has supported E. WINKEMANN‘s progression from a family business to a successful middle-market company with its management team owning a minority shareholding. This allowed the company’s flexible business model to be supported by rapid, decentralised decision-making processes, ensuring short product and development cycles in the dynamic environment of the automobile industry. Concurrently, Equistone has enabled the investment necessary for the expansion of the business. This positioned E. WINKEMANN to grow sustainably through the development of new products and innovative technologies, as well as by addressing new customers.
Dirk Schekerka, Equistone’s Country Head of the DACH region, commented: "With E. WINKEMANN’s committed management team and highly qualified core workforce, we have succeeded in significantly strengthening what was already a well-positioned company. The know-how and experience of the entire workforce are key drivers of the company’s strong position. The new partner will accompany E. WINKEMANN into its next growth phase and develop its strong position in other markets, particularly in Asia. We are pleased that we can remain involved with E. WINKEMANN as a shareholder and continue to support the development of the company.”
Dr. Bernd Sent, Chairman of the company’s Management Board, said: “Six years ago, as part of the succession plan, we carried out a thorough search for a suitable partner to safeguard the future of E. WINKEMANN. We found that right partner in Equistone, with whom we have been able to secure long-term growth and expand into new markets. With its expertise in the automobile supplier industry and its wealth of experience in the systematic, long-term development of medium-sized companies, Equistone’s team has supported us in achieving our goals throughout its investment. We look forward to taking the next step along this path with Cathay Capital.”
Dirk Schekerka and Stefan Maser represented Equistone on this transaction. The firm was advised by Robert W. Baird & Co. (M&A) and P+P Pöllath & Partners (legal/tax).
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