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07 January 2013

Silverfleet Capital to acquire A/S Cimbria

Silverfleet Capital, the European private equity firm, has today agreed to acquire A/S Cimbria, a leading manufacturer of equipment and processing lines for handling and processing of seed and grain, for DKK 1,025 million (€137 million). Completion, which is subject to obtaining clearance from the competition authorities, is expected to occur within the next few months. The transaction is Silverfleet’s second investment announced within the past few weeks, having also completed the acquisition of La Fée Maraboutée, a French wholesaler and retailer of women’s fashion, for €65 million on 14th December 2012.

Cimbria, headquartered in Thisted in Denmark, is a leading global manufacturer of equipment used for either seed processing or post-harvest grain handling. The company’s products include equipment for cleaning, drying and storing grain and seed, as well as conveyors linking equipment in a handling or processing line. Products range from standalone equipment pieces to large custom built project installations. Cimbria operates two production facilities in Denmark, and one in each of Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy, and today has approximately 740 employees. Total sales are approximately DKK 1,050 million (€140 million), with EBITDA of DKK 145 million (€19 million).

Silverfleet Capital’s fund will acquire a majority investment in Cimbria from Axcel, a Nordic mid market private equity fund, and members of Cimbria’s management team will reinvest a significant amount of money for a minority stake. Debt is to be provided by Nordea.

Silverfleet Capital has a successful track record of investing in international businesses within the Nordic region, and the firm’s previous investments in that region include Phadia, an allergy diagnostics company based in Uppsala, Sweden and Finnish Chemicals, a bleaching chemicals business headquartered in Äetsä, Finland.

Gareth Whiley, the partner at Silverfleet Capital with responsibility for the Nordic region and who led the transaction, will join the board as a non-executive director. Gareth commented:

“Cimbria is widely recognised for its high-quality products serving the seed- and grain-equipment markets. In particular it has an excellent reputation in the fast-growing markets of Eastern Europe, Ukraine and, increasingly, Russia. Expanding demand for grain and other crops, primarily due to population growth, is driving a need for greater agricultural productivity, which Cimbria’s products are well-placed to serve.”

“Silverfleet Capital’s international experience and additional financing firepower will support Cimbria’s excellent management team to continue the impressive growth achieved even in the recent difficult economic climate. We look forward to working in partnership with them.”

Karsten Larsen who will continue as CEO of the business under Silverfleet Capital’s ownership commented: “We were attracted to Silverfleet Capital’s international background and strong understanding of our sector. We are looking forward to working together with Silverfleet Capital to take Cimbria through its next stage of development.”

Also working on the deal for Silverfleet Capital were Alfa Chan, who also joins the board as a non-executive director, Johannes Huttunen and Robert Knight, all from Silverfleet Capital’s London office.

This acquisition will be Silverfleet Capital’s sixth from its current €670 million fund.