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Bridgepoint in the News

03 September 2013

Bridgepoint to acquire AHT Cooling

Bridgepoint today announces that it has reached agreement with Quadriga Capital and Partners group to acquire AHT Cooling Systems GmbH (“AHT”), the Austrian manufacturer of commercial plug-in refrigeration equipment for food retailers worldwide, in a transaction totalling €585 million. The transaction, which is subject to competition clearances, is scheduled to complete in October 2013.

Headquartered in Rottenmann, Austria, AHT is the global market leader for commercial plug-in cooling and freezing equipment for the food retailing industry. The company currently operates two production sites in Austria and China, and employs 1,100 people.

The food refrigeration equipment market is worth €8bn globally and is currently growing at 5% per annum. AHT is the market leader in commercial plug-in cooling and freezing equipment, an attractive sub-segment of this market growing faster than the market as a whole.

The Company has generated a compound 10-year revenue growth of 10% and in 2013 is forecast to generate over €330m in sales. It has benefitted from the fast growth in the plug-in technology segment of commercial refrigeration, which is more environmentally friendly than existing remote systems, provides much more flexibility for customers in deployment and requires shorter installation times. The Company also provides a comprehensive after-sales and service network with a presence in over 113 countries and generates a significant portion of its revenues from replacement and expansion of its large installed base.

Marc Zügel, who is jointly responsible for Bridgepoint's investment activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, said:

"AHT is at an attractive point in its development given the already solid continued growth of its core product offering. It is poised for further expansion with its new, world leading plug-in wall technology that will target a significantly larger international market. Bridgepoint will work with AHT's management, backed by continued innovation, to build on an already strong installed base and to accelerate its growth internationally."

Hans Aage Joergensen, AHT CEO, added:

"As demand for plug-in refrigeration has grown, AHT has innovated its product range and grown to become a market leader. Bridgepoint's investment will support us in our strategy of further internationalisation, especially in emerging markets, taking AHT's technology and after-sales service to new customers in our key target markets of Asia and Latin America."

Philipp Jacobi: Chairman of AHT:

"Under the ownership of Quadriga Capital AHT has grown the turnover of 80 Mio. Euro to about 330 Mio. Euro within ten years. It has developed into an undisputed global market leader which has grown the employment from 300 to 1100. We are happy that Bridgepoint is standing for continuation of the growth strategy of AHT."

Banking for the transaction will be provided by Unicredit, ING and Soc Gen.

Advisers involved in this transaction for Bridgepoint included: Jefferies and Unicredit (M&A), Freshfields (legal), BCG (commercial due diligence), PwC (financial due diligence), Porsche Consulting and KWN (operational due diligence), PwC (tax), URS (ESG) and Marsh (insurance due diligence).

Sell-side advisors included: Macquarie and William Blair (M&A), Trummer & Thomas (legal), PwC (commercial), EY (financial), KPMG (tax), ERM (ESG).

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