Soudronic AG is aquired by new entrepreneurial partners

Keystone Group Holding AG, a Swiss company headed by Dr. Giorgio L. Laurenti, together with German Leonhardt Holding GmbH headed by Uwe Leonhardt and the management, have acquired Soudronic AG, Bergdietikon, world market leader in machinery for the production of metal packaging.

Soudronic AG is headquartered in Bergdietikon, Switzerland and has 11 sales, production and service subsidiaries worldwide. A highly successful and profitable global market leader, Soudronic has 450 employees and plans to achieve group sales of about CHF 180 million in 2006.

The new shareholders of Soudronic AG comprise the families G. Laurenti, Leonhardt, R. Sachs, T. Wyler and the management. The Group owned by the Leonhardt family is active in the same industry as Soudronic.

The Soudronic Group, with its two global leading divisions, metal packaging and automotive, was acquired by the management and financial investors Gilde and Capvis in 2001.

Since the end of last year strategic options have been studied for both segments of the company as both divisions showed only few synergies. A separate sale was initiated. In May 2006, the automotive business was sold to the industrial partner VTC, Munich.

Now the entrepreneurial group lead by Dr. Giorgio L. Laurenti, Soudronic’s desired partner has acquired the metal packaging business. Today’s operational management, under the leadership of Jakob Guyer, will continue to lead the company. The Group structure, as well as all job positions will remain unchanged. Dr. Giorgio L. Laurenti will be Chairman of the Board of Directors, Uwe Leonhardt will become Vice-Chairman.

The existing top management of Soudronic Group, Fred Gamper, CEO and Dr. Andreas Emödi, CFO, who joined the company at the beginning of 2005, will leave the company as planned in order to pursue new entrepreneurial challenges.