Water purification industry: Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz advises on the sale of the Italian Laica Group to the listed British Strix Group
Frankfurt / Vizenza / Douglas, Oktober 1st 2020. Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz from Frankfurt, which specialises in M&A transactions and succession planning for medium-sized companies, exclusively advised Laica S.p.A. from Vicenza (Italy) in a structured international sales process. In the course of this sales process, Laica S.p.A., including its subsidiaries in Taiwan and Spain and a 45% stake in a joint venture in China, was sold to the London Stock Exchange-listed Strix Group Plc with registered office in Douglas, Isle of Man.
Laica, a growing Italian family-owned company, in second generation and founded in 1974, is an internationally leading company for water purification equipment and small household appliances for personal health and wellness. The company’s success is based on its dedication to high quality, safety and product design, with the aim of improving consumer wellness. Laica achieves a turnover in excess of EUR 20m with an EBITDA margin of around 15%. The business is very resilient against economic crises and even grew strongly during the coronavirus crisis.
Laica is market leader in Italy and has expanded over the last ten years in Europe and Asia. Today Laica’s product range comprises two main areas:
- Water treatment: water jugs, (replacement) water filters, water dispensers, bottle filters and filters for coffee machines
- Health and wellness appliances: personal care, vacuum sealers and kitchen appliances
In the strongly growing Chinese market, Laica holds a 45% share in a joint venture with Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings Co., Ltd. Xinbao, with a turnover of ca. USD 1.3bn and a market capitalization of USD 4.8bn, is one of the largest producers of small household appliances in China.
Strix Group Plc was identified as the buyer in the course of the structured sales process. Strix is a global market leader engaged in design, manufacture and supply of kettle safety controls. Other components and devices produced include water heating and temperature control, steam management and water filtration.
With the acquisition of Laica, which is being carried out via a newly established subsidiary in Italy and is still subject to approval by the Italian government, Strix is significantly strengthening its strategic growth segment of water filters. Strix Group Plc has a market capitalisation of more than half a billion euros on the London Stock Exchange.
With Strix’s international distribution network, Laica’s worldwide expansion and thus Laica’s growth can be accelerated even further. At the same time, the transaction will enable the succession of the Italian family business to be handled at an early stage, and the Vicenza site and the jobs there will be secured for the long term. The two managing directors, Maurizio and Annamaria Moretto, will remain in leading positions for Laica for a longer transitional period.
In addition to a cash purchase price, the agreed transaction structure includes components that will allow the existing shareholders to continue to participate in the growth of Laica achieved jointly with the buyer, as well as a share component that will allow the sellers to participate in the synergies between Strix and Laica realised at group level. At the same time, this structure ensures, that the transaction could be implemented at competitive conditions despite the coronavirus crisis.
“A company sale is much more complex than one might initially think, especially if the buyer is listed on the stock exchange and comes from abroad. We were glad to have the right consultant at our side in Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz, who successfully guided us through the sales process and handled intercultural differences between buyer and seller with the necessary sensitivity. Without the support of Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz, the desired transaction would not have been concluded,” explain Maurizio and Annamaria Moretto.
“We are pleased that we have found the right strategic partner for Laica for the future and that we have successfully guided the process from the positioning of Laica through the structured international market approach to the conclusion of the contract,” the two managing partners of Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz, Dr Patrick Schmidl and Michael Dirkes, added.
About Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz GmbH
Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz is a leading consulting company for medium-sized companies, headquartered in Frankfurt. The focal points of Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz include the provision of advice on the acquisition and sale of companies (“M&A consulting”) and advice on corporate succession.
Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz (www.dmfin.com) is a partner of Corporate Finance Associates Worldwide (www.cfaw.com), one of the oldest investment banking groups in the world with approximately forty offices worldwide.
We will be happy to answer your questions regarding corporate transactions at any time.
Dr Patrick Schmidl, Managing Partner
Michael Dirkes, Managing Partner
Tel. + 49 69 9542 1264
Deutsche Mittelstandsfinanz GmbH
60322 Frankfurt, Germany
Additional Advisors to the Sellers
Tax and accounting:
Sintesi Studio Associato, Vicenza, Italy, www.sintesistudioassociato.it, Tel. +39 0444 870600:
Francesco Ioverno (Partner), Alessandro Segato (Associate), Mario Sasso
DFA Studio Legale Associato, Vicenza, Italy, www.dfalex.eu, Tel.+39 0444 541884:
Andrea Cevese (Partner), Andrea Bagni (Associate)