Argos Wityu sells swiss cable machinery Group Maillefer to Alpha Group

Argos Wityu sells swiss cable machinery Group Maillefer to Alpha Group

Argos Wityu sells swiss cable machinery Group Maillefer to Alpha Group green_squares

Geneva, Euroknights IV, an investment fund advised by Argos Wityu, an independent European private equity firm, has sold Maillefer Extrusion SA, a Swiss cable machinery producer, to Alpha Groupe in a secondary buyout for an undisclosed amount.

Argos Wityu acquired Maillefer in 2001 in a spin-off from Nextrom, a listed vehicle majority owned by Nokia, in a management buyout. At the time, Maillefer, which provides manufacturing solutions to the world’s wire, cable and tube and pipe manufacturing industries, was suffering from the downturn in the telecoms industry.

Over the next few years, Argos Wityu and Maillefer’s management team restructured the business model from a manufacturer to a fully out-sourced provider of value-added solutions and services to the wire and cable industry. As a result, the company enjoyed a new, flexible cost structure and capacity and was well positioned to take advantage of growth in the wire and cable machinery markets. Today Maillefer, which is located in Ecublens, Switzerland, enjoys a strong market position in each of its core markets, which are benefiting from a boom in infrastructure investment. Maillefer’s sales have evolved from CHF 100m in 2001 to CHF 270m in 2007.

“Despite difficult market conditions from 2001-2004, the management team at Mailler stuck to the long term strategy of moving to a flexible, out-sourced model which would create value once the markets recovered,” says Guy Semmens, Partner at Argos Wityu in Geneva, who led the transaction. “As a result Argos Wityu was able to work with management to implement a restructuring program that has transformed the company into the leading player in the wire and cable machinery market.”

Participants in the transaction:
Argos Wityu: Guy Semmens
M&A: Nordea Corporate Finance
Legal: Lenz & Staehelin
Financial and due diligence: Ernst & Young
Legal: Heymann & Partner
Financial due diligence: Ernst & Young
Commercial Due Diligence: AMR Int.

About Argos Wityu

Created in 1989, Argos Wityu is an independent European Private Equity firm with offices in Paris, Geneva and Milan, wholly owned and operated by its partners. Argos Wityu focuses on management buy-outs and buy-ins in small and medium sized companies across Europe, but primarily in France, Italy, and Switzerland. The firm has developed a unique strategy of carrying out projects that require deep involvement with the financial shareholders and managers of companies (MBO, MBI, BIMBO, spin-off, reorganization, build-up) it acquires. The group of funds managed by the firm typically take majority stakes ranging from € 5m to € 50m in companies with revenues of € 20m to € 400m. Argos Wityu prefers to invest in companies with the capacity to become a leader in a business niche. Examples of the operations Argos Wityu has carried out include Buffet Crampon (musical instruments), Roc- Eclerc (services), Oxbow (surf wear brand), Du Pareil au Même (children’s clothing), Kermel (flame retardant chemicals) and Eau Eclarlate (stain removal brand) in France, Sparco (racing accessories) and GPP (packaging) in Italy, and Maillefer (machinery), Axyntis (specialty pharma and chemicals) and ORS (services) in Switzerland. In 2006, the firm announced the closing of a new 275m fund, Argos Wityu V, which has allowed the firm to carry out nine transactions to date: four MBOs (Driver/Sitour, GPP, FHB and Orsyp), two BIMBOs (Axyntis and Marie Laure PLV), one spin-off (Alkan) and two MBI (Chronolyss, Mertz).

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