EQT has sold thin film technology company Leybold Optics to German industrial company Bühler.
During EQT's holding, the company has opened production facilities in the US and China. It has completed add-on acquisitions, and moved into large area coatings, including architectural glass and solutions for the photovoltaic industry. EQT held a 90.2% stake in the company at the time of exit.
EQT, investing from EQT III, acquired Leybold Optics for €166m in September 2001. The deal was supported by a €101m debt facility from the Royal Bank of Scotland and West LB, including senior notes, working capital, a tranche of mezzanine and a mid-term equity bridge. Management kept a 7% stake in the company.
Leybold Optics, founded in the 1850s, develops and manufactures vacuum deposition equipment. Its optics division develops solutions for precision optics, eyeglass coating, as well as the automotive and electronics industries.
Similarly, the glass and solar division specialises in the photovoltaic industry, alongside machines to provide coating for architectural glass, displays, and similar surfaces.
Headquartered in Alzenau, Germany, the company employs 600 staff and generates sales of around €200m.
Partner Tomas Aubell was responsible for EQT's investment in the company. Gunnar Gremlin acted as industrial adviser to EQT III and chairman of Leybold.
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