Granville Baird invests in German bus firm

The UK middle-market firm has partnered with German private equity house HSH N Kapital to acquire a German supplier of air conditioning and heating systems to buses.

London-based private equity firm Granville Baird Capital Partners (GBCP) and HSH N Kapital, the private equity arm of HSH Nordbank, have backed a management buyout of Munich-based Webasto Bus for an undisclosed sum.

“Webasto Bus is the global technology leader in its field, operates in markets with huge growth potential, has a worldwide organisation and an excellent management team,” said Wolfgang Alvano, managing director at GBCP, in a statement.

Helmut Zanker, managing director of Webasto Bus, said in the release that the new investors would help increase the company’s turnover by 50 percent and expand the company both regionally and into the growing markets of China, India and the Middle East.

Webasto Bus, part of Webasto, a component supplier to the automotive industry, supplies air conditioning and heating systems for buses in Europe, South America and Southern Africa. The company has 580 employees and reported turnover of €109 million ($135 million) for the fiscal year 2004.

In separate news, GBCP has re-branded itself Baird Capital Partners Europe in the UK.

“It has become increasingly clear over the last few years that, in order to compete at the highest level, private equity businesses must be able to leverage the expertise and experience of local offices abroad to significantly increase the effectiveness of one’s offering,” said Simon Havers, head of UK, GBCP. “The Baird Capital Partners Europe brand has been created to highlight the close working relationship between Baird Private Equity’s European, American and Asian offices, and particularly those in China.”