Now a listed company, JOST Werke AG is a leading global manufacturer of safety critical components for the truck and trailer industry across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
The company supplies interface systems (fifth wheels, towing hitches and trailer couplings) to each of the major truck and trailer manufacturers under the well recognised brand names JOST, Rockinger, Regensburger and Tridec. These brands have an established reputation for the highest quality and reliability.
We completed the acquisition of JOST in 2005, attracted by the company’s strong management team and longstanding reputation for engineering, innovation, safety and service. We identified the growth opportunity of establishing JOST as a truly global platform, maintaining its strong position in established products in Europe, while pursuing opportunities within Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.
In addition, we looked to back the company’s pipeline of product developments, notably in the core fifth wheel and landing gear segments. We would also launch new product segments such as suspensions, axles, hydraulic components and loading systems.
Furthermore, there was potential to implement a buy and build strategy focused on the three main development routes: product portfolio expansion, access to additional technological competencies and access to additional manufacturer customers through geographic expansion and market share consolidation.
We strengthened the management team with the appointment of a Non-Executive Chairman, Matti Paasila, and a Chief Financial Officer, both of whom had extensive experience of organic and acquisitive growth strategies.
We supported the management’s initiatives to improve operational performance, such as:
- The transfer of the Munich-based trailer couplings production facility to Hungary
- The acquisition of JOST's South African distributor
- A worldwide working capital reduction programme
- New product launches, such as AirRelease and Lubetronic 2
- The establishment of a joint venture with Kamaz, covering Russia
- The opening of a facility in Poland to cover the local markets in CEE
We also helped the company to pursue a buy and build strategy, acquiring Tridec, a forced steering systems producer in Western Europe.
We launched a sale process in January 2008 after receiving approaches from trade and financial buyers and agreed a sale to private equity firm Cinven. The deal generated a 3.2x return on our investment and an IRR of 48%.