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Léman Capital buys to build décor firm

Léman Capital, the Geneva based mid-market buyout fund manager, announced last week two acquisitions.

They are Ever-Plast, a Swiss vendor of closet organizers, tie racks, and bathroom fixtures, and Becker & Hach, a German family-run picture frame-making firm, whose products include already-made frames to custom and high-end frames for art galleries.

It plans to combine the two with existing portfolio firm, Gruppe Peyer, a designer and distributor of textiles, films, and foils used in home decorating products.

A new company, or "platform", as Léman Capital calls it, is being formed called, Gruppe Ambicor that will merge these three, plus a fourth, earlier acquisition. The new firm will have a turnover of some 102m Euros and 190 employees.

Putting together strategic acquisitions of successful niche market firms in mature industries is typical of Léman Capital's "buy and build" strategy that it has been practicing since the firm was founded in 1998, said Nikolaus Zens, Partner, Leman Capital. It now owns 7 of such platforms with a total yearly turnover of some 600m Euros.

US based institutional investors represented 70 percent of shareholders in its first fund, Europeans only 30 percent. It is about to announce first closing (of a targeted 400 m Euro fund) of its second fund at 150m Euros.

by Valerie Thompson

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