PPM Ventures Leads German Buyout

Hot on the heels of its GBP40 million (ecu 60 million) buyout of the UK/German First Cartons business (EVCJ April/May 1998, page 29), PPM Ventures in April led the buyout of SUSPA Compart AG. SUSPA is a leading producer of gas springs for the automotive and office furniture industries and suspension systems for washing machines.

The Nuremburg-based company was acquired for an undisclosed sum from Hans-Peter Bauer and his family, descendants of SUSPA’s founder. The former majority owners have taken a stake in the acquisition vehicle, as has 3i. Members of senior management, who already had an equity interest in SUSPA, increased their holding in the buyout. Bayerische Landesbank provided new bank facilities for the SUSPA Group.

The company was founded in 1950 and originally manufactured springs for the motorcycle industry. Now, as well as manufacturing springs for office furniture and washing machine suspensions, it is a leading producer of impact absorbers and gas springs for the automotive sector and other industries.

A new management team headed by Dr Helmut Wolfland and Dr Ulf Bdck joined SUSPA two years ago and succeeded in returning the company to profitability in the year ended June 1997. Sales of DM350 million (ecu 177 million) are forecast for the year to July 1998.