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Carlyle gets Edscha

Carlyle has agreed to an offer price of EURO26.50 per share for German car-parts manufacturer Edscha. The deal provides an exit for previous investors including German VC Deutsche Beteiligungs, which stands to make a return of 25 per cent on its investment.

Carlyle holds a majority interest (77 per cent) in the acquisition vehicle, EdCar Beteiligungs, while four members of Edscha’s management board, Horst Kuschetzki, Peter Mazzucco, Axel Schulmeyer and Dr Hagen Wiesner will own 23 per cent. Bain Capital and Industri Kapital were also reported as interested in the company. Carlyle also owns a 35 per cent stake in Beru, a German manufacturer of diesel cold start systems, which serves the automotive industry.

Edscha was created in 1997 through a management buyout led by Kuschetzki, now the company’s CEO. PCI-Parcom, Flint Echo and NatWest backed this deal. Edscha was listed on SMAX, the SME segment of the Deutsche Brse, in 1999.

The following year Deutsche Beteiligungs acquired Bridgepoint Capital’s 15 per cent stake in the company. The deal with the vendors, PCI Edscha Partners (which holds 27.6 per cent of the company), Deutsche Beteiligungs (14.8 per cent), Horst Kuschetzi (23.3 per cent) and Flint Echo (4.8 per cent) gives EdCar control of 70.5 per cent of the company. Carlyle needs at least a 75 per cent stake to complete the deal.

The purchase price represents a premium of seven per cent above the last closing price before the announcement, 10 per cent on the share’s average price over the previous three months and 17 per cent over the last year. The deal, thought to be worth EURO245 million, is subject to regulatory approval.

Edscha supplies the automotive industry with hinges, convertible roof systems, sliding truck roofs and driver control systems. One of a number of recent acquisitions by the company was vehicle development company IVM Automotive. Planned sales for the current financial year are EURO950 million. “Revenues, market shares and profits have grown faster than the market – that has certainly constituted a driver for the success of this sale,” said Wilken von Hodenberg, a spokesman for the management board of Deutsche Beteiligungs. The sale of Edscha is the company’s third exit this year.

Lazard advised Edscha, while Credit Suisse First Boston acted for the acquirers.