Frankfurt / Berlin, 6 November 2009 - Advent International, the global private equity firm, today signed agreements to sell its 66% stake in Herlitz, a leading provider of stationary products in Europe, to Pelikan International Corporation Berhad, the international manufacturer and distributer of writing instruments, school stationery, office supplies, and printer consumables.
The agreements worth a consideration of EUR 45 million include the 66% stake in Herlitz, as well as options and shareholder loans which are currently owned by Advent. In addition, 94.9% of Molkari Falkensee, Herlitz’ Logistics Centre subsidiary, are included. The transaction is subject to conditions, including approval by merger control authorities.
Herlitz is a long established household brand in Germany and has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 1977. Following a rapid expansion until the mid 1990’s, the company underwent a significant financial restructuring in 2001 which included Herlitz’ consortium of banks taking a stake of 65%. In 2005 Advent acquired a total of 66% of the company taking over the stake from the banks and from a voluntary takeover offer.
Under Advent’s ownership Herlitz reorganised its business, developed a brand-oriented strategy and opened up new sales channels. Moreover, Herlitz improved its operations, diversified its revenue base and strengthened its financial position. Today Herlitz focuses on the core segments of school and office supplies and offers a broad range of quality products, continually developing new merchandise, for example, it developed and launched new products such as the fountain pen my.pen and the office folder OneTip. For Fiscal Year 2008 Herlitz reported an annual turnover of EUR 301.9 million and an EBIT of EUR 3.7 million.
Jan Janshen, General Manager at Advent International’s Frankfurt office, added: “During Advent’s ownership Herlitz’ management and its employees have successfully improved the company’s competitiveness and redirected the business towards Herlitz branded products while maintaining the company’s leading market position in the German market and further expanding it in Eastern Europe.
The acquisition of Herlitz by Pelikan represents a logical step as it combines two leading brands and two complementary businesses. Herlitz has a strong regional presence in Germany and Eastern Europe and well established sales channels, particularly in the food retailing sector. Pelikan has a leading market position in Western Europe, Latin America and Asia and long-lasting client relationships with specialist shops. The transaction will thus open up additional business opportunities for Pelikan and Herlitz.”
Jan von Schuckmann, CEO of Herlitz, said: “Over the last four years we have constructively streamlined our operations and increased competitiveness while at the same time investing in the development of new products and in strengthening our brand. Today we have a sustainable business model, a strong market position and we operate from a solid financial base. We appreciate the time under Advent’s ownership as we have laid the groundwork for the company to enter into the next phase of its development.”
Herlitz AG was founded in 1904 and is headquartered in Berlin. Herlitz is one of Europe's leading quality producers of paper, office supplies, stationery, and stationers' supplies. The company owns the brands "Herlitz", "Falken" and "Susy Card". Herlitz has approximately 12,000 different products, ranging from pencil sharpeners to drawing pads. The latest product innovations include the premium file OneTip and the my.pen fountain pen.
As an international brand-article company Herlitz has eleven foreign subsidiaries. With production facilities in Brandenburg, Poland, Romania and Great Britain, Herlitz products are shipped to just about every country in Europe. The Herlitz Group in Germany includes Herlitz AG, Herlitz PBS AG, Falken Office Products, the supply-chain service provider eCom Logistik, and the IT service company Mercoline. For more information please visit www.herlitz.de.