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Equistone sells EuroAvionics to HENSOLDT, a spin-off from Airbus Group

12 May 2017

Funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”) have reached an agreement to sell their majority shareholding in EuroAvionics, a global manufacturer of civil avionics systems based in Pforzheim, to HENSOLDT, a spin-off of Airbus Group’s Defence Electronics business. The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, and the transaction remains subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.

 

  • Private equity investor realises its majority shareholding in the avionics specialist to newly-founded business for security and defence electronics
  • EuroAvionics has grown into a worldwide technology leader through acquisitions and the extension of its product portfolio

Equistone acquired a majority stake in EuroAvionics in July 2012. The company, which was founded by a former helicopter pilot in 1993, has an international team which designs, develops, and produces certified civil avionics systems for helicopters and aeroplanes. These systems are used predominantly in air rescue, reconnaissance, firefighting and police services. EuroAvionics is a global technology leader in civil avionics systems, with a widely-diversified product portfolio specially designed for the specific needs of professional pilots – particularly for critical flight assignments such as fire and recovery missions, the search for missing persons, or individual person transportation.

EuroAvionics’ market position and international presence have continually developed during Equistone’s investment. Its annual turnover rose from approximately €14m in 2012 to over €20m; during this timeframe, the number of employees rose from 40 to around 110. In support of a targeted internationalisation strategy, EuroAvionics acquired the UK business aerotech uk and the American business LCX Systems, which now trade under the names EuroAvionics UK und EuroAvionics US respectively. In addition, a significant expansion of the product portfolio promoted the organic growth of the company. EuroAvionics developed additional innovative products and custom-made solutions such as the ‘Enhanced Reality’ system (2014) or the ‘Multipurpose-Airborne’-Computer (2015). The company entered the unmanned aircraft market with the launch of EuroAvionics Switzerland in 2016, and in early 2017 brought autopilots and avionics systems for multicopter drones to market.

Dr Peter Hammermann, Partner at Equistone Partners Europe, commented: “Through close collaboration with the company’s management and employees, we have been able to further strengthen EuroAvionics as a leading and highly innovative producer of civil avionics systems over the past five years – through both international bolt-on acquisitions and the development of new market segments. Under HENSOLDT’s ownership, EuroAvionics will certainly open up new and further growth opportunities.”

Alexis Milkovic, Partner at Equistone Partners Europe, added: “EuroAvionics and HENSOLDT complement one another superbly: EuroAvionics is exceptionally successful in the civil avionics market, while HENSOLDT has a strong position in security and defence avionics. Both businesses will benefit from this strategic step.”

Dr. Peter Hammermann, Alexis Milkovic and Maximilian Göppert led the transaction. Equistone was advised on the sale by Lincoln, P+P, KPMG, PwC and Dechert. The completion of the transaction is expected in Q3 2017.

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