New ownership at BENNINGER Textile Systems

The current management and the leading Swiss private equity firm Capvis will succeed Mr Charles Peter as owner of Uzwil-based textile machine company BENNINGER Textile Systems.

For Mr Charles Peter, who looks back upon 33 years of successful management as sole shareholder in 5th generation, the sale of his company to the current management and the investor Capvis represents the preferred solution for his succession. The well-reputed 146-year-old company will remain independent and under Swiss ownership.

The management team will acquire 15% of the shares and Capvis 85%. Mr Franz Koller, being with the company as Managing Director since 2001, will become CEO. The transaction will be retroactive as per 1 July 2005. The parties have agreed on non-disclosure of the transaction price. BENNINGER Guss AG and BENNINGER Immobilien AG are not part of the sale and will remain under current ownership. Mr Charles Peter will support the new owners as honorary president.

BENNINGER Textile Systems, a world-leading supplier of machines, plants and complete system solutions, serves the textile industry in the segments of weaving preparation, textile finishing and tyre cord impregnation. Main markets are Asia, Europe and Latin America. The company has a total workforce of approx. 700 employees at main locations Uzwil and Zell (Germany) as well as its subsidiaries in Italy, India, Hong Kong and mainland China. For fiscal year 2005 BENNINGER Textile Systems is expecting sales of approx. CHF 250 million.

Capvis is the leading Swiss private equity firm managing equity funds in excess of CHF 800 million and has a proven track record of acquiring family-owned companies together with the management. Since 1990 the Capvis team has successfully invested in over 30 companies with a total transaction value of more than CHF 3 billion. The current investment portfolio includes 9 companies with combined sales of approx. CHF 1.7 billion and a combined workforce of more than 7,000 employees. Most recent transactions include the acquisition of majority shareholding in Ticketcorner.

The new owners intend to further grow the company and its well-established global brand BENNINGER organically and through complementary acquisitions.