Haag, St. Gallen and Baar, Zug, 6 December 2013
VAT Holding AG (“VAT”), Haag, St. Gallen, the global market leader in high-end vacuum valves, will be acquired by Capvis, the leading Swiss mid-market private equity fund, and Partners Group, the global private markets manager, in a joint lead transaction. They announce today that they will make a new equity investment on behalf of their clients and investment programs and have agreed to acquire the majority of VAT, subject to approval by the respective antitrust authorities. VAT is the global market leader for high-end vacuum valves, which are a critical component in highly complex manufacturing processes. VAT holds a strong market position for these mission-critical parts in the vacuum industry and offers its clients the largest product portfolio globally with customized solutions as well as over 1'000 standard valves covering all relevant ranges of vacuum pressure.
VAT has manufacturing operations in Switzerland, Romania and Malaysia and sales offices in the USA, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The company employs a staff of about 1'000 globally, of which some 700 are located in Switzerland, and generates an annual turnover of more than CHF 300 million. The company focuses on end markets such as the semiconductor, flat panel display and photovoltaic industry as well as other industrial and research applications. VAT is a highly successful business that has constantly increased its market share in the past and is ideally positioned to benefit from structural growth trends for vacuum technology.
Alfred Gantner, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Partners Group, Walter Keller, Partner of Partners Group, Daniel Flaig and Ueli Eckhardt, both Partners of Capvis, will be serving as board members and taking responsibility for the strategic development of VAT. Furthermore, the newly constituted board particularly appreciates that Karl Schlegel, retiring CEO of VAT, will join the board as non-executive director.
Ueli Eckhardt comments: “As a global niche market leader VAT fits the Capvis investment strategy perfectly and we look forward to working closely together with the management and employees of VAT. We are deeply impressed by VAT's strong culture of delivering uncompromising quality to help its customers succeed in demanding markets. We appreciate the confidence the founder's family puts in this succession solution by retaining a significant stake in the company, and highly value the trust they place in us in committing to safeguard and reinforce the workplace in Switzerland.”
Walter Keller adds: “We are extremely pleased to have completed this investment into VAT on behalf of our clients. We are committed to the strong Swiss roots of the company and will support the company in maintaining its technological leadership and operational excellence. In addition, we aim to drive the company's further internationalization by leveraging its global operational footprint and its world-leading competence center. We look forward to providing strategic support to ensure the company retains the flexibility to operate in its market environment as well as the ability to take advantage of arising opportunities.”
Dr. Reto Loepfe, designated CEO of VAT, confirms: “We are enthusiastic about the outcome of the succession process. Not even six months after announcing the intention to find a successor to the family business, VAT has found two dedicated investors with strong Swiss roots and a high commitment to supporting VAT's future development and growth while subscribing to the same uncompromising understanding of entrepreneurial values and customer orientation. This is a great way to move forward in the development of our company and good news for our employees and customers. Management welcomes Capvis and Partners Group as the new partners of VAT.”