Leifheit focusing on Household Products
• Bathroom Furnishings will be sold
• Household Products will be strengthened through expansion and acquisitions
Nassau/Lahn, 1 June 2010 –With retroactive effect from 1 January 2010, Leifheit AG, Nassau, is selling its subsidiary Spirella AG (Bathroom Furnishings division) in Embrach, Switzerland, to the Swiss private equity fund advised by Cross, Zurich. The Board of Management of Leifheit AG signed the contracts today, for an undisclosed purchase price. This is the first step in Leifheit’s disposal of its entire Bathroom Furnishings division. Talks have already started on selling the Kleine Wolke and Meusch brands, based in Bremen.
This move is consistent with Leifheit’s two central strategic goals:
- After the disposal of its ladder business in 2009, Leifheit is now taking the next step in focusing on the four Household Products core businesses – cleaning, laundry care, kitchen and scales.These will be significantly strengthened by the disposal of the Bathroom Furnishings division, which is no longer part of the core business.
- The funds released by the sale increase Leifheit AG’s scope for action, following the announcement at the start of the year that it will expand and strengthen the Household Products division through domestic and foreign acquisitions.
The sale to Cross, which intends to continue and expand the business, preserves the 180 jobs at Spirella, with attractive prospects. The new owner is a long-term investor whose existing management team plans to follow a strategy of sustainable growth for Spirella.
Formed in 1958, Spirella AG was taken over by Leifheit in 1988 as the core of the bathroom furnishings business.With bathroom accessories, shower rods and curtains, bathroom rugs and bath mats, it generated turnover of € 43 million in 2009. The company has around 180 employees in Switzerland and at its subsidiaries in Germany and France.
Spirella AG will continue under the leadership of Ernst Kraft, who has been a member of the Leifheit AG Board of Management since 2006.He will leave the Leifheit Board of Management with the sale of Spirella on 2 June 2010.The Leifheit Board of Management will then have two members, Georg Thaller (CEO), who will take over Ernst Kraft’s responsibilities, and Dr Claus Zacharias (CFO).
Following its plans to sell the Kleine Wolke and Meusch brands (2009 turnover: € 26 million, around 120 employees), Leifheit is also involved in exploratory discussions with potential buyers interested in developing the operations with the existing management and employees.
Georg Thaller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Leifheit AG: This strategic decision significantly sharpens Leifheit’s profile, and gives us substantially larger financial scope for potential growth through acquisitions. The focus in acquisitions will be primarily in the southern and eastern European markets, where we are currently aiming at top market positions. We will continue to pursue our strategy of focus.”
The Supervisory Board thanks Mr Kraft for his tremendous efforts and successes in Leifheit AG’s Bathroom Furnishings division over the past 22 years, and wishes him all the best in his professional and private future.
Additional information is available on the Internet at http://www.leifheit.de/en/investor-relations.html.