BST Safety Textiles (now known as Global Safety Textiles) is a leading, global automotive supplier, focused on the development, production and marketing of airbag fabrics.
BST had a strong market position due to its cost and technology leadership, with operations across Europe and a small presence in the US. We liked BST’s strong customer and supplier relationships, impressive research and development, and outstanding reputation for product quality.
After our €86m acquisition in August 2005, we pursued a strategy of growing the business through increasing its market share in the US, increasing its international presence organically, realising some economies of scale and selling non-core operations.
Shortly after our acquisition, we appointed a new chairman and worked with management on the expansion of the US business, as well as entering the Asian market.
We launched a sales process after receiving an unsolicited approach from a potential buyer and agreed a €157m trade sale to International Textile Group in September 2006. This generated a 2.1x return and an IRR of 74%.