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Equistone sells tyre-making machine manufacturer Karl Eugen Fischer

12 Jun 2018

Funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe ("Equistone"), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, have agreed to sell a majority stake in Karl Eugen Fischer (“the company”), the world’s leading manufacturer of cord-cutting machines for the tyre industry. Equistone acquired Karl Eugen Fischer in August 2013 and is now selling its stake to DBAG Fund VII, managed by Deutsche Beteiligungs AG. Management will retain a shareholding in the company. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Founded in 1940 in Burgkunstadt, Germany, Karl Eugen Fischer is the world’s leading manufacturer of cord-cutting machines for the tyre industry. The company began developing cutting and pressing machines in 1949 and has produced cord-cutting machines for the tyre industry since the mid-1970s, laying the foundation for its subsequent international expansion. Tyre manufacturers use Karl Eugen Fischer’s cutting machines predominantly to produce tyre plies and breakers, components that give the tyre shape and driving stability. With a market share of 70 per cent, the company is the world-leader in this segment and supplies the majority of the market’s leading tyre manufacturers. The company’s customer base also includes manufacturers in the metalworking industry. In addition to its sole production site and head office in Burgkunstadt, Karl Eugen Fischer has a sales and servicing office in the USA. Since its investment in 2013, Equistone has supported the expansion of Karl Eugen Fischer’s workforce in Burgkunstadt, which has grown from 490 to c.550.

Dr Marc Arens, Partner at Equistone, said: "Karl Eugen Fischer’s strong position in the cutting systems market has been key to its expansion. Since Equistone’s investment in 2013, the functionality of the machinery has improved and there has been a steady increase in its level of automation. The company has also successfully extended its servicing business and broadened its customer base with internationally renowned companies. With a growth strategy focused on sustainability and stability, Karl Eugen Fischer’s excellent reputation as a premium manufacturer of cutting systems has continued to grow. It represents the gold standard in this machinery segment. We are confident that Deutsche Beteiligungs AG is the right partner for Karl Eugen Fischer to ensure its continued success going forward.”

Equistone was represented in this transaction by Dr Marc Arens and Leander Heyken and advised by Ashurst (Legal), PwC (Commercial) and EY (Financial and Tax).

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