Swedish buyout firm Altor Equity Partners AB was crowing Friday, May 4, about an agreement to sell Meyn Food Processing Technology BV, its poultry processing machinery business, to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary CTB Inc.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Altor partner Bengt Maunsbach said Altor's 2003 Fund, which first acquired the Dutch company in 2005, had made an internal rate of return in excess of 30% on the investment.
"[We] completed our development plans for Meyn and generated strong returns for Altor's investors," he said, adding that CTB had won the company in an auction organized by Nomura International plc.
Maunsbach said interest had mainly come from industrial buyers, although private equity firms had also looked at the asset. Interest had come from all over the world, and not just from the poultry processing industry but from food equipment companies in general.
CTB, as a manufacturer of grain storage and handling systems as well as systems for the poultry, pig, egg production and grain industries, fits that description well. In a separate statement, CEO Victor Mancinelli said the acquisition would combine two companies from distinct sectors of the poultry industry and would provide CTB with the ability to offer global poultry companies "total solutions from grow-out through the eventual processing cycle."
CTB of Milford, Ind., became a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway in 2002.
Oostzaan, Netherlands-based Meyn sells its technology to more than 90 countries, including the U.S., where it has additional production facilities in Ball Ground, Ga. Under Altor's ownership, revenue increased from €98 million ($128.5 million) in 2004 to €205 million in 2011, receiving a particular boost from the add-on acquisition of domestic rival Systemate Numafa BV in March 2006. Ebitda was up over the same period from €12 million to €32 million and the number of employees doubled to about 1,000.
"We invested significantly in growth markets, new factories, R&D and strategic acquisitions," Maunsbach said, adding that Altor could easily see itself investing again in the food equipment sector.
"I think food equipment is an exciting space at the moment," he said.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and Dutch works council consultation.
Altor was advised by Nomura and Onno Boerstra of Dutch law firm Van Doorne NV. CTB was advised by Dutch law firm Loyens & Loeff NV and U.S. firm Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.