Clearwater International advises Schouw & Co. on the cross-border acquisition of CSS Group, by its portfolio company GPV


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Clearwater International has advised Danish industrial conglomerate Schouw & Co., on the acquisition of Switzerland-based CCS Group (CCS), by its portfolio company GPV.

The transaction creates a major European electronics group with over 3,700 employees, and production facilities across Asia, Europe and the US, and a combined revenue in excess of €325m.

GPV and CCS operate within the HMLV (High-Mix/Low-Volume) segment of the EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services) market. Both businesses provide electrical sub assembly solutions and finished products (box-build), to customers in high and low volume series, with growing demand for this type of electronics supplier.

Founded in 1961, GPV is the largest electronics manufacturer in Denmark. It is a customer-driven EMS business that provides advanced electronic solutions and mechatronics to customers internationally. GPV became a portfolio company of the Danish industrial conglomerate Schouw & Co. in 2016. The business has production facilities in Denmark (headquarters), Thailand and Mexico, with approximately 1,400 employees and reported revenue of €156m in 2017.

Founded in Switzerland in 1985, under the name of Formatest AG., CCS specialises in electronics, cable harness manufacturing and system integration. It was acquired by the Swiss private equity fund Patrimonium in 2011. The business operates production facilities in Switzerland (headquarters), Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Sri Lanka and China, with approximately 2,300 employees, and reported revenue of €255m in 2017.

The Clearwater International team was led by Managing Partner Markus Otto, with support from Associates Ilja Litichevski and Anton Ulrich as well as from Danish Partner Carsten Rydahl.

Markus Otto, Managing Partner, Clearwater International: “We are proud to have supported Schouw [& Co.] and GPV in its investment in CCS Group. Due to the excellent cooperation between the German and Danish Clearwater teams, we were able to provide Schouw [& Co.] with expertise in the EMS field as well as knowledge of both local markets.”

Carsten Rydahl, Partner, Clearwater International: “It has been a pleasure working together with my colleagues in Clearwater Germany and this landmark transaction in the global EMS industry. Thanks to Clearwater Germany’s deep knowledge in the EMS field, the transaction was managed efficiently and enabled us to offer the best advice and achieve a great result.”