MGPE Italy Sells Konig –

Deutsche Morgan Grenfell (DMG), Deutsche Bank’s Italian private equity fund advised by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity (MGPE Italy) is exiting its investment in Knig, a manufacturer of snow chains for cars, light transportation vehicles and trucks. Thule, a manufacturer of roof-top carriers for cars, will acquire the business for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Lecco, Italy, Knig has sales of EURO30M and 185 employees. “Knig has been a successful investment for DMG’s investors. On the back of a robust 2003 performance, we have agreed to terms of a sale with Thule and other minority shareholders that will result in an attractive cash-on-cash return for our investors,” said Carlo Pirzio Biroli, CEO of MGPE Italy.

Deutsche Bank has almost halved the size of its private equity portfolio over the last year as part of its restructuring to focus on the bank’s core businesses. But the bank decided to retain direct control of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity’s EURO100m Italian fund. Carlo Pirzio-Biroli, part of Deutsche Bank’s fund-of-funds team, has become acting chief executive and has brought in a new team of Deutsche executives to manage the fund.

The former head of MGPE Italy Dante Razzani left the fund last year with three other members of the team following a failed attempt to buyout the fund from Deutsche Bank.

DMG has another possible exit in the pipeline from its majority stake in Valli Zabban.