18 February 2014

Silverfleet Capital to invest in Phase One A/S

Read in Danish

Silverfleet Capital, the European private equity firm, has today agreed to make a significant investment in Phase One A/S, the world's leading brand in high-end medium format digital camera systems and in image processing software. Completion is subject to obtaining clearance from the competition authorities. The consideration for the transaction has not been announced.

Phase One designs and manufactures medium format camera systems for the world's most demanding professional photographers and advanced amateurs, as well as having an industrial division supplying camera systems, predominantly for aerial photography. Furthermore, Phase One is a world leader in software for processing raw images. The business is renowned for its technical expertise and innovation, having been the first to manufacture commercially a fully portable medium format digital camera back in 2004. It has continued to launch new, innovative products ever since, culminating in the recent launch of its new IQ250 digital camera back; the first available medium format back using a CMOS sensor.

Silverfleet Capital will acquire a majority investment in Phase One from the existing management team, who will reinvest a significant amount of money for a substantial minority stake. Bank financing for the transaction is to be provided by Nordea.

The investment by Silverfleet will enable the business to grow through continued innovation and new product launches, additional marketing and the potential acquisition of complementary businesses or technology.

Henrik Håkonsson, who is currently the majority shareholder, will continue as CEO of the business after the transaction. He commented: “We are delighted to work with Silverfleet going forward. Their international outlook, financial capability and track record of growing companies, make them an ideal partner for us as we accelerate the growth of our business".

Gareth Whiley, 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: “Phase One is a world class company with unrivalled products and an excellent management team. We are excited to be able to partner with Henrik and his team to further develop this highly successful business and brand."

The Silverfleet Capital team that worked on the transaction also included Alfa Chan, Rob Knight, Mark Piasecki and Jack Priestman who are based in Silverfleet Capital’s London office. Silverfleet Capital was advised by KPMG (corporate finance), Accura (legal), Deloitte (financial and tax due diligence), Roland Berger (commercial due diligence) and PwC (tax structuring).

Silverfleet has been an active investor in the Nordic region and Phase One is its second Danish transaction in a year, having acquired A/S Cimbria, one of the leading global manufacturers of seed and grain processing equipment, in April 2013.

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