Deutsche Beteiligungs AG invests in specialised films business

  • Huhtamaki Films first MBO in new financial year
  • New prospects on gaining autonomy
  • Support for expansion of international capacities

Frankfurt am Main, 24 November 2014. Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) announced that it will invest in Huhtamaki Films, a manufacturer and finisher of films, in a management buyout (MBO). Huhtamaki Films has so far been a division of Finland-based Huhtamäki Oyj. The Group intends to concentrate on its core business of food packaging and will divest its films business to the DBAG-advised DBAG Fund VI and the division’s management. DBAG will hold 17 percent in Huhtamaki Films and invest up to 12.5 million euros. DBAG Fund VI and the company’s management will hold the remaining shares. The financial debt-free purchase price for the company amounts to 141 million euros. The purchase agreement which has been signed this weekend, is contingent upon regulatory clearance; the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

With Huhtamaki Films (http://www.films.huhtamaki.com/de/films), DBAG is investing in a specialist enterprise. In close collaborative relationships with its customers, Huhtamaki Films develops, produces and finishes plastic-based release liners and other specialised films. The films have specific properties, depending on their application: the degree of siliconisation determines how they separate from other materials, meaning the films are easier or harder to detach. The films also exhibit specific barrier properties to fluids or light, are more or less tear-proof, biologically degradable or antistatic. Some three-quarters of the company’s products are individually developed to meet customers’ specific needs.

The films are used for hygiene and health products, in the construction industry, and as base products for adhesive tapes and labels. The company’s revenues (2013: 187 million euros) are split roughly evenly between the three areas of application that make up its product portfolio. In the area of hygiene, products made by Huhtamaki Films can be encountered throughout people’s entire life: from the outer layer of babies’ nappies to feminine hygiene products with individual packaging for sanitary towels and tampons, to films for incontinence products. Typical applications in the construction industry are self-adhesive materials for acoustic and thermal insulation and films that protect bitumen sheeting prior to processing. The company produces adhesive tapes for a wide range of uses, with varying degrees of adhesiveness, for example. It also addresses other specialised applications, including films for sealing sewage pipes and for sound insulation in cars. The product portfolio’s broad diversification derives from a high level of flexibility in the company’s production processes.

Huhtamaki Films’ nucleus is its German headquarters in Forchheim (Bavaria), with its more than 150 years of tradition and experience. More than 600 employees work at Forchheim, now one of four production locations around the globe; further production sites are located in the US (Malvern, Pennsylvania), Thailand (Samutsakorn) and Brazil (Camaçari). The company has a total staff of nearly 1,000. Its production structure reflects geographical proximity to its customers, which include globally present consumer goods manufacturers who themselves manufacture worldwide. In the markets served by Huhtamaki Films, the company is second in Europe and holds the leadership position in the US. The company is also among the leading producers in Asia and South America.

“Our new shareowners are providing us with the opportunity to move our business forward on our own,” said Peter Wahsner, Executive Vice President of Huhtamaki Films, commenting on the MBO. “We see potential and want to invest – in capacity and products for new applications.”

“The company’s innovative strength and broad customer base are a good platform on which to do exactly that,” Dr. Rolf Scheffels, member of DBAG’s Board of Management, added today. “Moreover, Huhtamaki Films also intends to progress on its path towards greater internationalization.” The company’s two emerging-market sites were only acquired or set up in 2011 and have excellent potential for growth. At both locations, demand for the company’s products is growing faster than the national product, driven by rising prosperity in these markets

Huhtamaki Films is the first company to be added to the portfolio of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG in its new 2014/2015 financial year (1 November to 31 October). DBAG aims to transact an average of two to three MBOs and up to three expansion capital investments per year.