GESCO takes over market driven niche operator


Wuppertal, 23 April 2009 – The SDAX listed investment holding company GESCO AG has acquired Georg Kesel GmbH & Co. KG, Kempten, Bavaria, as part of a succession agreement. GESCO is acquiring 90 % of the shares, while 10 % are being purchased by managing director Martin Klug.

Established in 1889, Kesel develops and produces milling machines and clamping systems. About 45 employees generate sales of around € 11 million.

Kesel positions itself in market niches and is the technology leader in many of the fields it operates in. The milling machine product range includes rack and bandsaw blade milling machines. The company’s clamping division has a broad range of systems meeting different specifications and offering a variety of clamping forces.

The company serves a broad customer base from a number of industries worldwide. Its customers include manufacturers of rack and bandsaw blade systems among others. Machines for milling steering racks are a special product of the company and are mainly used in automotive technology. Products from the clamping division are supplied to companies from a range of industries.

In the last few years Kesel forged ahead with its internationalisation and established a sales office in China.

GESCO Executive Board member Dr. Hans-Gert Mayrose commented on the takeover by saying: 'Kesel fits in perfectly with our acquisition criteria given its niche policy and its technological leadership. On top of that, the company has focused on the needs of the market to a much greater extent than many other technically driven companies. Depending on the field of application and the required quality customers can choose between high engineering on the one hand and less complex, cheaper products on the other.'

Dr. Mayrose on the sale process: 'The selling party was committed to gaining a long-term investor, dedicated to the objective of continuing and advancing the business. Of course company valuations are generally difficult at present given massive economic uncertainty. The acquisition price reflects this fact by including extensive guarantees and flexible components which hinge on the future success of the company.'

'In the difficult current environment in particular,' added Dr. Mayrose, 'we can lay the foundations for growth in the next upturn by acquiring attractive, well positioned companies.'

GESCO AG is the parent company of a group of highly profitable, small and medium-sized companies in the field of industrial Base Technologies. GESCO acquires successful niche providers, generally as part of succession arrangements, in order to retain and further develop these long term. As an SDAX listed company GESCO AG offers private and institutional investors access to SMEs.

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