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Alimak to acquire Tractel

Swedish mast climber, hoist and façade access company Alimak is to acquire Tractel the French international suspended platform, mastclimber (Scanclimber), work at height safety equipment and lifting tackle (Tirfor) group, from current owner Fifth Cinven Fund, which acquired the company in 2015. Alimak is paying €500 million in cash for the company on a debt free basis.

Tractel had revenues for the year to the end of June of €201 million, up seven percent on the prior year. The combined business will have revenues of around €580 million and as such will be transformational for Alimak, while remaining within its core markets and significantly increase the potential for its service business. Alimak also sees the deal providing a solution to its review of its Wind division through combining the two companies wind operations.

Founded in France in 1941, Tractel is now registered in Luxembourg and is truly international with subsidiaries in 19 countries with 1,100 employees, around 10,000 distributors in 120 countries with manufacturing facilities in Europe, the USA, Canada, China, Singapore and Turkey.

The deal will be funded by Svenska Handelsbanken through a long term €300 million facility and a bridge loan which will be repaid with the proceeds from a new share issue with pre-emptive rights for Alimak shareholders.

Alimak’s largest shareholder AB Latour which has a 29.6 percent stake has already expressed its support for the deal and subsequent rights Issue. Another group of institutional owners, including: Alantra EQMC Asset Management, First AP-fund, C Worldwide, and Sundt, which joint hold a stake of around 23 percent, in other words the company already has more than half the shareholders on board.

Alimak chief executive Ole Kristian Jødahl said: “This transformational acquisition underlines Alimak group´s profitable growth strategy and ambition to expand our global market presence. We have followed Tractel for a long period and know that it is a growing and highly profitable quality company that shares our values. The combination offers significant commercial synergies and growth opportunities, including a substantially wider customer base, an expanded product portfolio and a strengthened global service organization. We are convinced that this transformational acquisition will create significant shareholder value over time via higher revenue growth and improved profitability.”

Tractel chief executive Philippe Gastineau added: ”The combination of Tractel and Alimak will create a leading global business with significant opportunity for future growth, in a market where there is substantial room for further penetration of our joint products and services. We look forward to the next chapter of our profitable growth journey as part of the Alimak group.”
See: Tractel takes Scanclimber

Vertikal Comment

This looks like a good move for both companies, in that they have more in common than not and offer different but generally complimentary products within the same broad markets. It will though create a very complicated corporation, how Alimak decides to streamline that (it is looking for around €15 million of cost synergies over the next four years) will be critical to the success of this deal.

But it certainly has some major positive potential.