Schaffner was a global market leader in a growing niche of the electro-magnetic compatible (“EMC”) market.
In 1996 Montagu financed the CHF159 million (£88 million) acquisition of Schaffner Electronik AG from the Swiss industrial group Elektrowatt AG. The deal was undertaken with both local and European support via Montagu and its local HSBC Group affiliate, Zurmont Finanz AG.
Schaffner was a global market leader in a growing niche of the electro-magnetic compatible ("EMC") market. It manufactured products which guarantee the reliability of electronic equipment, systems or installations which may be subject to electro-magnetic interference.
The deal was a complex one. When Electrowatt decided to sell, we were required to complete the transaction within four weeks. Moreover, the funding structure had to provide for the difficulties of structuring equity investments under Swiss law, the complicated currency flows within Schaffner and the necessity for borrowings in many jurisdictions. The deal also required complex commercial and tax due diligence covering ten countries.
The buyout demonstrated how Montagu could work with its associates to provide innovative solutions to meet the requirements of local vendors and complex international businesses.
The business was eventually listed on the Geneva Stock Exchange in July 1998.