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The Carlyle Group, a U.S private equity firm, has acquired gear unit and couplings manufacturer Flen

By: George di Montorio-Veronese


Deal overview


The Carlyle Group, a U.S private equity firm, has acquired gear unit and couplings manufacturer Flender GmbH from Siemens AG for €2.025 billion ($2.45 billion). The deal was a leveraged buyout with equity from Carlyle European Partners V and an affiliate of Carlyle Asia Partners V. Announced on October 29 2020, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to foreign-investment and antitrust approval.



Company Details: The Caryle Group


HQ: Washington D.C, USA

CEO: Kewsong Lee

No. of Employees: 1,800

Market Capitalisation: $10.47 billion

Enterprise Value: $16.41 billion

TTM Revenue: $1.88 billion

TTM EBITDA: $207 million

EV/ TTM Revenue: 8.73

EV/ TTM EBITDA: 79.3

Advisors: Milbank LLP, Jeantet


Company Details: Flender


HQ: Bocholt, Germany

CEO: Andreas Evertz

No. of Employees: 8,600

Market Capitalisation: N/A*

Enterprise Value: €2.025 billion ($2.45 billion)

TTM Revenue: €2.185 billion ($2.67 billion)

TTM EBITDA: €169 million ($205 million)

EV/ TTM Revenue: 0.909

EV/ TTM EBITDA: 11.8

Advisors: Citigroup, BofA, and Hengeler Müller

*Flender GmbH was a subsidiary of Siemens AG and was, therefore, not separately traded on public markets.



Background


Siemens AG sold Flender GmBH as part of its Vision 2020+ Strategy. This is Siemens’s long-term plan to slim down and focus on its core businesses of factory automation, smart buildings, and transport. Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG stated: “By selling Flender, we’re successfully and rigorously continuing our strategy to become a new, focussed Siemens AG.”



Synergies


The Carlyle Group seeks to use its significant experience in carve-out transactions and the industrials sector to help Flender in its transition into a stand-alone company. It also hopes to provide expertise to aid Flender in its operations and business strategy, as well as providing investment for its technology and service platform. Flender will seek to gain from its independence through greater flexibility and quicker decision-making, with Siemens CFO Ralph Thomas stating that the deal would allow Flender to “address its customers’ requirements in an even more targeted way.” In addition, it stands to benefit from its future being clarified, which will enable enhanced planning. Siemens’ CEO commented that “This fast decision gives customers and employees clarity and a solid foundation for planning.”



Concluding remarks


One particular point to watch when judging Flender’s post-independence success will be the performance of Winergy, its wind turbine components segment. Winergy was of particular focus for Janine Feng, Managing Director of Carlyle Asia Partners, who noted the pledge of China, the world’s greatest emitter of carbon, to become carbon neutral by 2060. Feng noted that the Asian wind power market is where a “significant proportion of the global capacity additions is expected to originate”. How Flender copes with, and is aided by The Carlyle Group in, the long-term shift towards analytics, robotics, and the Internet of Things in the so-called ‘Industry 4.0’ shift in manufacturing will also be an important factor in the company’s success. Finally, it will be interesting to see how Siemens will progress as a more focussed company and the level of continuation of this policy under Joe Kaeser’s successor Roland Busch.



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