TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (“TowerBrook”) announces today that it has acquired Schweighofer Fiber GmbH (the “Company”), an Austrian company which produces high-quality viscose pulp and bio energy, from family-owned Schweighofer Group. Closing took place on September 12th. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Schweighofer Fiber, based in Hallein, is one of the largest manufacturing companies in Austria. The Company employs 240 people at its site in Hallein near Salzburg and produces pulp and bio-energy from renewable energy sources. Schweighofer Fiber had a turnover of about 143 million Euros in 2016 and is one of the most profitable of the top 250 industrial companies in Austria. Jörg Harbring, who has been the Managing Director of the Company for 13 years, will become the CEO of the business, working alongside TowerBrook to build on the company’s success.
Ramez Sousou, co-founder and co-CEO of TowerBrook said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to acquire Schweighofer Fiber. This acquisition fits perfectly with our acquisition criteria and our overall investment strategy to back strong management teams operating in growth markets. We are keen to capitalise on the existing strength of the business by supporting the Company in a market that presents considerable growth opportunities.”
Jörg Harbring, Managing Director of Schweighofer Fiber said: “I am pleased to have TowerBrook not only as our new owner but as a true partner who brings financial strength and operational expertise to help us grow the business further. We have worked very hard over the last few years to strengthen our position within our key markets, while also building the platform for future growth. TowerBrook has a strong history of significantly developing portfolio companies during its period of ownership and we look forward to working with them in the coming years.”
Gerald Schweighofer, Managing Director of Schweighofer Group: “The pulp dissolving mill in Hallein is a success story in every aspect. Due to substantial investment, we were able to make the mill more profitable, thus securing the site and its employees. By doing so, we have clearly demonstrated our vision of merging economic, social and ecological responsibilities. The decision to sell this site is purely strategic from our point of view: we will focus entirely on our core business of wood processing. As we considered strategic options for our fiber business we found TowerBrook to be the perfect fit because of its plan to accelerate the growth of the company, its commitment towards the location in Hallein as well as towards the employees and the management team. Schweighofer Fiber is an attractive business with major opportunities and we are confident that, with TowerBrook’s expertise, the business will be in good hands.”
TowerBrook has a strong experience in carve outs of similar sizes, a strong network in the sector and a long history of investing in German-speaking Europe. Successful investments over more than a decade include Cablecom GmbH (Switzerland), Monier Group (Germany), Odlo Sports (Switzerland), and PolymerLatex (Germany). TowerBrook opened an office in Munich in 2016.
TowerBrook will work closely with the talented team of Schweighofer Fiber and support the Company’s successful strategy of enhancing its capacity and diversifying its product portfolio.