ABN AMRO acquires FlexLink

ABN AMRO Capital signed its second deal in the Nordic region this year, with the €153m acquisition of Swedish industrial equipment supplier FlexLink. The company was acquired in a management buyout from EQT, which bought a 90% interest in FlexLink from AB SKF in 1997.

Johan Bjurstrom, Nordic head of ABN AMRO Capital, said that the company had potential for geographic growth and to lead consolidation in its sector. “FlexLink is well positioned for future growth, as factory automation systems continue to develop in sophistication in response to the increased use of robotics and the growing need for flexibility in manufacturing,” he said.

The deal follows ABN AMRO’s acquisition last month of Danish retail, food and consumer products group Glud & Marstrand Invest. That company was also acquired in a secondary buyout.

On the exit front, the firm last year sold its majority stake in Sweden-based IVT, the heating pump manufacturer, to Bosch heating products subsidiary BBT Thermotechnik.

ABN AMRO Capital is the global private equity business of ABN AMRO. Total funds under management at December 4 2004 were €1.9bn. This includes €140m of capital from international investors.

Founded in 1980 and based in Gothenburg, FlexLink manufactures factory automation systems for the consumer goods, pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics and telecom sectors. The company has offices in 21 countries employing 540 staff and had turnover of €125m in 2004.