Sapa sells Autoplastics

Swedish industrial group, Sapa, has sold Autoplastics, its automotive components division, to Gilde Investment Management for SEK1.22 billion (EURO127 million.)

The deal is expected to close in late September once it has obtained EEC merger clearance. Gilde will acquire the shares and worldwide assets of Autoplastics, excluding the painting facility in Kungalv, Sweden, which will be restructured within the group. Autoplastics will be renamed Plastal, a name used last by the group in 1998.

Autoplastics has four manufacturing facilities in Sweden and factories in six other European countries, employing a total of 2,200 people. It manufactures exterior and interior components and trim details for premium cars and light commercial vehicles. In the first six months of this year Autoplastics generated an operating profit of SEK41 million on sales of SEK1.858 billion. The management team, led by Christer Palm, president and CEO of Plastal, and Danilo Fattor, managing director of Plastal Italy, will remain in place following the acquisition and will take a minority stake in the new company.

Sapa manufactures lightweight plastics and aluminium products for the transport, building, engineering, and telecom industries. In June this year Sapa finalised the sale of its foil production division in order to focus on growth in its key markets. Staffan Bohman, president and CEO of Sapa, said: “The divestment of Autoplastics is a milestone in Sapa’s extensive reconstruction process, to focus entirely on the Group’s core aluminium activities.”

Paul Bekx, partner at Gilde in Utrecht, The Netherlands, said of Autoplastics: “The company’s achievements to date will form the platform for further growth, both organic and through acquisition.” Bank of America advised Gilde and also arranged syndicated debt facilities. Other advisors include Arthur D. Little, Deloitte & Touche and Hammond Suddards Edge, working with Rossotto e Associati and Vinge (Gilde) and Deutsche Bank and White & Case (Sapa).