RENA Technologies sponsor Equistone taps Rothschild for exit – sources

16 February 2021 - 03:41 am UTC

by Joao Grando and Johannes Koch, with additional reporting from Patrick Costello

Buyout house Equistone is putting RENA Technologies on sale after holding the German wet-chemical equipment maker for just under two years, two sources familiar with the situation told Mergermarket.

 

Rothschild will be guiding the sponsor in the auction, which is expected to promote the company’s rapid growth profile, the sources said.

 

RENA, which produces wet-chemical process equipment that treats semiconductor, solar wafer, glass and other surfaces, is expected to generate EUR 25m in EBITDA, the sources said.

 

It posted EUR 121m in sales, EUR 13.5m EBITDA and EUR 10.6m EBIT in FY18, according to its latest public full-year results filing.

 

A company report for the first four months of 2019 shows it recorded EUR 38.4m revenues, EUR 9.1m EBITDA and EUR 7.2m EBIT in the period. On the basis of its order backlog at the time, management predicted a “significant increase” in total output and in EBITDA and EBIT for the entire calendar year of 2019, according to the report.

 

RENA has benefited from China’s solar capacity expansion and will ride the greentech wave as new solar capacity is added in the US under President Joe Biden’s climate plan, one of the sources said. The equipment maker has also benefited from growth in the semiconductor market, said a sector banker.

 

In 2018, RENA generated 70% of its sales in Asia, 10% in Germany, 13% in the rest of Europe and around 4% in the US, public records show.

 

While still generating a large part of its revenue in the solar sector, the company’s management is considering the transfer of competencies developed in that market to the fields of medical technology, semiconductors and glass, as a relevant growth opportunity for RENA, according to the report.

 

Sales to the solar market accounted for 37% of total revenues in the four months between January and April 2019, compared to 59% in full year 2018, the filing shows. Its other main areas were glass, with 18% of sales in the first four months of 2019 and 2% in 2018; after-sales, with 24% and 18%, respectively; semiconductors, with 10% and 5%; and medical technology, with 11% and 7%.

 

RENA operates a production site at its headquarters in Guetenbach and with two additional German sites and in Wykroty, Poland. It also has a quality control centre in China and subsidiaries in Taiwan, Singapore and the US.

 

Equistone acquired RENA for an undisclosed amount from Capvis in March 2019.

 

In an interview with Mergermarket last year, Equistone partner Stefan Maser said RENA was is discussion with potential targets in North America for bolt-on acquisitions as part of a strategy to further penetrate the region and expand its technological capabilities.

 

Under Equistone ownership RENA acquired Hirtenberger Engineered Surfaces, an Austrian electrochemical surface technology developer, and Oregon, US-based MEI.

 

Equistone declined to comment. RENA and Rothschild did not return calls for comment.