Expansion of the customer base, extension of the production capacities
€47.5
Equity investment
€90mn
Revenues 2019 (preliminary)
270
Employees 2019

KEY FACTS AT A GLANCE

  • Development partner and manufacturing service provider for electronic components
  • Growing market thanks to more electronics in cars
  • Sales and earnings growth in the new financial year

Sero GmbH

Investment by
DBAG FUND VII

€47.5mn

DBAG'S INTEREST

€10.7MN

MANAGEMENT BUYOUT
Shareholders:
DBAG FUND VII

93.3%

EQUITY SHARE BELONGING TO DBAG

21.1%

other shareholders

6.7%

First invested

NOVEMBER 2018

REVENUES in €mn

 

79

 

2016/2017

 

86

 

2017/2018

 

90

 

2018/2019 (preliminary)

As of 31 December 2019

~12

per cent

average annual revenue growth since 2015/2016

With Sero, we are again investing in a previously owner-led company in one of our core sectors within a short period of time. We were particularly impressed with the company’s excellent processes and unwavering customer orientation.

VOLKER BONSELS
MANAGING DIRECTOR

PROFILE

The automotive sector (~87% of revenues) and the industrial sector (~13% of revenues) rely on the high level of competence of the electronic manufacturing services provider Sero GmbH (Sero). The printed circuit boards and electronic components assembled and produced by Sero are used not only in brake lights and motor sensors, but also for example in high-performance microphones, heat meters and other industrial metrology products. Customers put strong emphasis on cost-efficient products of the highest quality. In Sero, they find industrial competence and a high degree of process automation that enables innovative manufacturing processes.

The company was founded as an engineering office for automation processes in 1992. This competence builds the foundation for its successful development. In today’s highly competitive market, Sero stands out through its ability to com-bine standard production lines with proprietary test and manufacturing modules in order to achieve a particularly high level of quality at competitive prices.

POTENTIAL FOR DEVELOPMENT

Sero operates in an attractive subsegment of the automotive industry. Future growth will be driven in particular by the ever-increasing number of electronic components used in the production of automobiles – for example for automated driving, driver assistant systems and for higher comfort in the interior of vehicles. Sero expects to benefit from this growth, while at the same time extending its customer base. Accordingly, an extension of the production capacities is also planned, for example through the construction of an additional site.

FINANCIAL YEAR 2019

In 2019, continued uncertainty regarding the European automotive market with respect to tariffs, WLTP standards etc. led to more volatility and hence a weaker automotive environment with reduced car sales. In light of the increased uncertainty in Europe, the capacity expansion in Germany was partly shifted into future years. However, positive underlying key trends such as increasing electronic content in vehicles support Sero’s top-line growth expected for 2018/2019.

OUTLOOK AND OBJECTIVES

In 2020, the recently appointed new CEO and CFO together with the existing management team will invest notable resources for an even more pro-active and strategic sales approach to leverage the favourable market trends and hence continue the growth path of prior years. Expanding Sero’s international footprint to NAFTA and/or China is expected to partially compensate the continued weak market development in Europe in the financial year 2019/2020.

Responsible team member

Volker Bonsels
Volker Bonsels

Managing Director

Volker Bonsels
Name:
Volker Bonsels
Telephone:
+49 69 95787-152
E-Mail:

Volker Bonsels

Managing Director

Volker Bonsels joined Deutsche Beteiligungs AG in 1995 and became a Managing Director in 2001.

He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Technology, Kaiserslautern, and also studied at the University of Warwick. He started his professional career as a trainee in corporate banking at Deutsche Bank.

Volker Bonsels has 24 years of experience in private equity. He was, and is, a member of the advisory councils at those portfolio companies in which DBAG invested under his lead capacity. He has extensive expertise in a variety of sectors, including building components, industrial services and mechanical and plant engineering. Among the most successful transactions he led are Coperion, Lewa and Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik.

Current portfolio companies

Former portfolio companies

Volker Bonsels

Managing Director

+49 69 95787-152
volker.bonsels(at)dbag.de