Halder makes partial exit on Happich

German private equity firm Halder has reduced its holding in automotive supplier Happich Fahrzeug und Industrieteile through a merger with Italian company Ellamp Interiors. The new company will be renamed GHE. The transaction enables Halder to make a partial realisation on its 1999 buyout of the business, which was originally spun out of Johnson Controls. Financial details of the deal were undisclosed, but Halder is said to have realised an IRR of 25 per cent.

The merged entity now has combined net sales of €130 million and combines manufacturing skills for the interiors and body parts for buses, coaches, trains and industrial vehicles.

Aksia Group, an Italian investment company with an original shareholding in Ellamp now holds 60 per cent of the new entity, while Halder is retaining a 30 per cent share. Mediolanum State Street, a major Italian fund-of-funds holds the remaining 10 per cent. Alessio Lucca, chief executive officer of the new group confirmed that both companies will retain their identity and business strategies and he expressed confidence in the Happich and Ellamp managers who, he said, will also find challenging opportunities in the growth of the new entity.

Marcel van Wijk of Halder, said: “Our main focus is to expand the combined group further in the coming year and to look for an exit in three to four years. We wouldn’t exclude an IPO – it all depends on the public markets.”

Giorgio Garuzzo, chairman of Aksia Group commented on the deal. “The deal is totally in line with our strategy. We promote the growth of middle-sized companies to an international dimension to create, through effective management of industrial synergies, added value for all parties involved.”