CABB expands its global activities with the support of AXA Private Equity

AXA Private Equity has acquired more than 70% of the shares in CABB GmbH, a German specialty chemicals company. The remaining shares will be held by the company's management. CABB, which is headquartered in Sulzbach/Taunus, Germany, produces, among others, monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) and a range of specialty intermediates that find application in the PVC, pharmaceutical, agrochemical and personal care industries. CABB intends to further expand into other continents. The company is a global leader in the production of MCAA and has a strong presence in Europe, North America and South America; with the support of AXA Private Equity, CABB will explore partnership opportunities with Asian producers. The company also plans to further strengthen its position in the US market. CABB operates in Germany with two production sites (Gersthofen and Knapsack) and a total of 300 employees.

"We wish to expand into new markets. In AXA Private Equity, we have found a partner who will support us in this undertaking not only in financial terms, but also through know-how and their well-established network," said Ruud de Boer, Managing Director, CABB GmbH. In the coming five years the company intends to increase its revenues by approximately 50%.

The majority participation represents a long-term commitment by AXA Private Equity. "We will provide full support to CABB in its entry into new markets and in meeting its objectives," said Wolfgang Pietzsch, Director, AXA Private Equity Germany. "This represents an opportunity for AXA Private Equity and its investors to participate in a company that is well positioned for growth in new markets," said Pietzsch.

CABB, formerly part of the Hoechst group, was until June 2005 a subsidiary of Clariant, a Swiss chemicals company. CABB's independence was the result of a buyout by the current managers and Gilde. The company's initial performance targets stretching over a period of several years were already reached within 15 months. "We quickly succeeded in creating an autonomous company from a dependent group subsidiary," said de Boer. The revenue targets have also been reached more rapidly than expected. CABB expects sales of EUR 140 million for the current year, compared with EUR 114 million, when Gilde first acquired the business. This growth was reached in all product groups and across all geographies.

As a consequence Gilde has been looking for a new investor to accompany CABB through to the next phase. "We are convinced that CABB will continue to grow strongly and we wish the company a successful future," said Ralph Wyss, Managing Director and Partner of Gilde.

Transaction participants:

Buy-side:

  • AXA Private Equity: Wolfgang Pietzsch, Christof Naményi, Markus Brunnemann, Donald Oberholzer
  • M&A Advisor: CloseBrothers Plc (W. Kazmierowski, A. Huntley, G. Bieding, N. Schmitz)
  • Commercial due diligence: ChemSystems – Nexant (N. Checker)
  • Financial: Deloitte & Touche (E. Sachsalber, M. Bühler)
  • Legal: Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP (W. Henle, S. Koch, C. Boehm)
  • Financing contracts: Milbank Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP (T. Ingenhoven, J. Wilms);
  • Tax: E&Y (M. Kunz, B. Müller)
  • Insurance: Marsh (U. Heuser)
  • Technical: (Francois Perier)

Sell-side:

  • Gilde: R. Wyss, N. Pronk, S. Jakober
  • M&A: Greenhill (P. Meyer-Horn, C. Riley, A. Samengo-Turner, R. Tzanakakis)
  • Financial and Commercial Vendor DD: KPMG (D. Nawe, S. Jones)
  • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis (V. Kullmann, C. Zuleger)
  • Environment: URS (E. Artmann)

Financing:

  • DZ Bank (F. Schehl, J. Knolle)

About AXA Private Equity

AXA Private Equity, an AXA Investment Managers company, with offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York and Singapore, is a world leader in Private Equity players covering the whole range of activities (LBO, Expansion, Venture, Co-investment, Mezzanine, Primary, Early Secondary and Secondary Funds of Funds) with an exceptional expertise.

AXA Private Equity manages and/or advises Private Equity funds with assets in excess of €10 billion for some of the world's leading investors. With a constant focus on transparency, performance and sustainable profitability, AXA Private Equity is supported by the expertise of its staff and its international experience.