Clearwater International advises Chinese state-controlled company on the sale of Innomotive Systems Hainichen to Mutares

Clearwater International has advised a Chinese state-controlled company on the sale of Innomotive Systems Hainichen GmbH (Innomotive Systems), a German provider of door hinges for the automotive industry, to the German private equity house Mutares SE & Co. KGaA (Mutares).

Innomotive Systems headquartered in Hainichen, Germany, with its subsidiary Innomotive Systems Hainichen Ltd. headquartered in Nanjing, China, is a profitable and leading manufacturer of sophisticated, high-precision machined door hinges made of steel or aluminium, as well as complex hinges for hoods, tailgates, and lids. The company is the world’s number one supplier of aluminium hinges for automotive applications. In 2020 the company generated revenues of approximately €120m.

Mutares, as a listed private equity holding company with offices in Munich (HQ), Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, and Vienna, acquires medium-sized companies and parts of larger groups with headquarters in Europe that show a clear potential for operational improvement and are sold again after undergoing a repositioning and stabilisation process. Mutares actively supports and develops its portfolio companies with its own investment and consulting teams as well as through acquisitions of strategic add-ons. In 2020, Mutares generated consolidated revenues of approx. €1.6bn employing more than 12,000 people worldwide.

This strategic acquisition will strengthen Mutares’ automotive and mobility segment with production sites in Germany and China. Innomotive Systems can tap into the significant synergy potential within Mutares’ existing portfolio, especially with Kico, a provider of car components and mechatronic systems, establishing the companies as a truly global player in the field of car components.

This transaction is assumed to be the first sell-side transaction of a state-controlled Chinese company in Germany and is the first Clearwater International-assisted sale for a Chinese customer in relation to a stake held outside of China. The closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.

„It has been a great pleasure for us to assist our client, a large Chinese state-controlled company, throughout the whole process. They have successfully supported Innomotive Systems in the further internationalisation, including the establishment of a strongly growing business in China. We are convinced that Mutares, backed by its strong automotive and mobility experience and given the significant strategic synergies with its existing portfolio company Kico, will together with the management team of Innomotive Systems create a world leader in the hinge market. This transaction is the result of the combined team effort of our European and Chinese offices. It marks our 303rd automotive deal and is another example of our cross-border deal making skills. We are particularly grateful for the confidence placed in us by our Chinese client, which underlines our high international automotive sector reputation.“ – Tobias Schätzmüller, Managing Partner and International Head of Automotive, Clearwater International

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