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New owner for TCA Lift

Danish private equity firm Generationsskifte Invest has acquired a 65 percent stake in spider lift manufacturer TCA Lift.

The current owners and directors Finn Schlitterlau and Thyge Mikkelsen will continue to manage the company and retain 35 percent of the share capital. Jens Heimburger, Enrico Krog Iversen and Robert Spliid of Generationsskifte Invest will join the TCA board. The firm is an operating division of Dansk Generationsskifte which has been involved in ‘generational switches’ with small to medium sized Danish companies since 2005.

Jens Heimburger - who is also the founder of Generationsskifte - said: “The combination of increased urbanisation and more spectacular architecture places great demands on maintenance. With a unique range of lifts up to 52 metres, TCA Lift has a strong position in the market. We have conducted customer interviews in eight countries, and have confirmed that functionality and quality are the characteristics of the company. It has also been crucial that Finn and Thyge remain with the company both as leaders and co-owners.”

Schlitterlau added: “We have been looking for a partner who has capital and who has helped developing companies, by creating a renewed focus on increasing growth. Although TCA has grown almost 100 percent since we took over the company in 2011, we believe that the market is significantly larger. In addition to strengthen our sales efforts, we will continue to invest in new lift developments that can solve our customer’s needs. It's very simple, the lower weight and the more compact the aerial lift is, the more flexible it is. And these are the key performance aspects of the Falcon Spider.”
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A TCA Falcon spider lift at Louis Vuiton Foundation in Paris

Mikkelsen said: “The Falcon Spider lift, which was originally invented by the original owner in the late 1970s, was the first of its kind with so called spider legs. With continued focus on innovation, compliance with all international standards, an international sourcing strategy, with subsequent assembly and safety approval at the factory in Odense, Denmark, we will continue to deliver Falcon Spider aerial lifts in the quality best end of the market.”

TCA, previously Falck Schmidt, was acquired by Schlitterlau and Mikkelsen through a Management Buy Out from its previouis owner Skako in 2011.
See MBO at Falck Schmidt Skako had acquired the company in 2005 through its subsidiary VT Holdings - which also owned Denka Lift at the time. The two companies were then grouped together under the Worldlift banner
See Denka Parent buys Falck Schmidt
In 2010 Skako decided to make access equipment a core business and transferred Worldlift from VT Holdings to the parent group. See Skako Lift a new name in access That interest barely lasted a year which then led to the 2011 MBO.
Prior to 2005 the company was owned by the Falck Schmidt family which had invented the spider lift outrigger system in the 1970s, while searching for a way to get a wider outrigger spread out of a machine that could still go through a single doorway.

Vertikal Comment

This deal is a credit to the solid progress that the management team at TCA has made over the past six years. It is true that the company will benefit from additional funding, and experience of a good financial backer. With higher volume Italian spider lift manufacturers pushing into the larger product sectors, this is a good time for the owners for both a partial cashing-in and to bring in more firepower to further develop the business which still has enormous potential.

Generationsskifte tends to lean towards retail businesses - and MBOs so this deal appears to be a little different to its normal modus operandi. Hopefully the new owners will look to the longer term and continue to build the TCA Falcon brand.