AURELIUS sells compressor manufacturer SECOP to the Nidec Group and doubles its dividend

24.04.2017

AURELIUS sells compressor manufacturer SECOP to the Nidec Group and doubles its dividend

  • Sales price €185 m; AURELIUS earns approx. 11 times its invested capital after 7 years
  • Largest exit in AURELIUS’ history
  • Approx. EUR 100 m positive effect on Group profit
  • Sustainable realignment of SECOP leads to strong revenue and earnings growth during AURELIUS’ ownership
  • Strategic buyer Nidec with considerable synergy potential
  • AURELIUS doubles its dividend proposal to EUR 4 per share

Munich, 25 April 2017 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) sells its subsidiary SECOP to the Nidec Group headquartered in Kyoto (Japan). At a sales price of EUR 185 m, this is the largest company sale in AURELIUS’ history. The transaction is subject to the approval of the competent authorities and is expected to close in the coming months.

With the sale, AURELIUS increases the capital it invested in SECOP by a multiple of approx. 11x. The transaction will have a positive effect on AURELIUS’ 2017 Group profit of approx. EUR 100 m. The combination of this successful transaction and advanced plans for further disposals in the coming months has prompted the Executive Board to double its dividend proposal to the AGM to EUR 4 per share (EUR 1 base dividend plus EUR 3 participation dividend per share), from previously EUR 2 per share (EUR 1 base dividend plus EUR 1 participation dividend per share).

“As a global technology leader, SECOP is a perfect example of the successful strategic realignment of a group spin-off under AURELIUS’ ownership. We are particularly proud that, in this transaction, we exceeded the average cash multiple achieved for past exits”, said Dr Dirk Markus, CEO of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities.

SECOP is a global provider of specialised compressors for refrigeration and freezer appliances operating in the “Household” and “Light Commercial” segments. SECOP’s Household division is a leading provider of compressors for refrigerators and freezers in Europe. In its Light Commercial division, the company is selling compressors for Commercial applications such as frozen goods counters in supermarkets and hermetic DC compressors such as those used in cooling units in trucks. In all areas, the company benefits from the ongoing trend towards energy efficiency and sustainable refrigerant technologies.

Successful development since acquisition by AURELIUS in 2010

In 2010, AURELIUS took over the Household Compressors business division from the Danish Danfoss Group as part of a group spin-off. At the time, the business was focused on commodity compressors and generated negative earnings. AURELIUS has since made strenuous and successful on-the-ground efforts to develop SECOP into a profitable high-tech niche player focusing on energy-efficient compressors: in the past seven years, substantial resources were invested in the development of new compressor platforms and in optimising production processes.

To improve competitiveness, the company underwent an extensive alignment of its cost base. Measures included consolidating European production locations in Slovakia. The takeover of the Austrian compressor manufacturer ACC Austria in December 2013 allowed AURELIUS to strengthen the company strategically and in a targeted manner and to expand its market position. This add-on acquisition was AURELIUS’ largest to date and resulted in a combination of technological competencies of two previously separate worlds. A rigorous focus on electronically controlled compressor platforms in all business areas allowed AURELIUS to transform SECOP into a globally recognised specialist. The result of focusing on energy-efficient compressors was an average annual revenue growth (CAGR) of 60 % in the XV variable-speed compressor product line, whose energy efficiency is up to 40% higher compared to competing technologies.

By setting up dedicated sales organisations in growth markets such as North America and China as well as converting the existing sales organisation and introducing new sales processes and systems, it was possible to win new customers and improve market penetration significantly.

Considerable synergy potential for Nidec

For the Nidec Group, a leading provider of electric motors as well as components and accessories, this strategic acquisition means a considerable broadening of its product portfolio with sizeable synergy potential. Nidec has already successfully grown non-organically in the past by acquiring and integrating products and technologies. The acquisition of SECOP is a logical next step for Nidec to expand its product offering in a targeted and sustainable manner.

In order not to jeopardise the successful conclusion of the sale of the SECOP Group, AURELIUS had exercised the option to postpone the disclosure of inside information according to Art. 17 Para. 4 of the Market Abuse Directive (MAR) in the last few weeks. During this period, a temporary prohibition on trading prevented insiders (particularly the members of the Company’s Executive Board and Supervisory Board) from trading in the Company’s shares. This temporary prohibition on trading ends with this publication.