Five members of the Sulzer Burckhardt management, funded by Zurmont Finanz AG, are to take over the company from Sulzer Ltd through a management buy-out.
The sale of the company that makes reciprocating compressors for the oil refining, chemical and transport industries, to its managers was not a surprise to investors.
Rotkreuz-based Zurmont Finanz financed the MBO of the 430 employee-strong firm, which has sales of SFr150 million a year. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
This transaction indicates that Zurmont Management, which manages a SFr180 million fund backed by HSBC Guyerzeller Bank, as well as individual and institutional investors, is returning to its roots as a private equity investor in solid, mid-sized firms based in Switzerland or neighbouring countries.
Zurmont, established in the early nineties, specializes in expansion financing, as well as change of ownership financing, such as management buyouts or corporate spinouts in a range of typical Swiss and German industries.
In an interview with Swiss Venture Update late last year, Zurmont Finanz managers stressed that after dipping very briefly into high tech investment and venture capital funding in 1999, it will stick with what it knows the best, acting as an active investor in the acquisition and management of ownership stakes in unlisted companies for a limited period of time.
Previous investments for Zurmont include Sygena AG, Mettler Toledo, NLV Solar AG, Micro-Sensor-Technologie GmbH, Datamars, and Schaffner Holding. All of these are mid-sized firms and afforded their investors exits via either a listing on the stock market or trade sale.
By Valerie Thompson