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Clairfield advises IOW Group in its sale to Axel Johnson International

The owners of the industrial IOW Group have signed an agreement to divest the majority of their shareholdings to the Swedish conglomerate Axel Johnson International.

IOW Group, generating sales of EUR 27 million with approximately 130 employees, is a leading distributor and service provider of mobile drivetrain systems, hydraulics, cooling systems, and filter technologies with presence in Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. Established in 1993, IOW maintains a long-term relationship with its customers and suppliers. The customers are mainly original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) working in mechanical engineering, construction equipment, mining and agricultural machinery, and railway equipment.

Axel Johnson International is a privately owned Swedish industrial group of more than 90 companies in 25 countries, with combined annual sales of EUR 750 million.

With the acquisition of the IOW Group, Axel Johnson International strengthens its market position as a distributor and service provider of mobile drive trains solutions in Europe. The IOW Group will become part of Axel Johnson International’s industrial solutions  business group and a sister company to Trans-Auto AB, which is active in distribution and servicing of mobile and marine drivetrains in the Nordic markets and Russia. The current owners of the IOW Group will remain as minority shareholders and will continue to lead the businesses going forward.

The transaction is expected to close later in Q3 2017, after approval by relevant government authorities.

Clairfield International acted as exclusive financial adviser to the seller. The transaction was led by Tadeusz Madej and Peter Chudy (Poland), and originated and supported by Albert Schander (Germany).

Jürgen Dückert, chairman and current majority owner of the IOW Group said: “To become a part of Axel Johnson International will allow us to continue to develop the product and service offerings in our home markets. IOW’s experience and technical know-how, combined with Axel Johnson International’s financial strength and long-term perspective, will provide strong support to our future development and guarantee continuity and stability to our customers and suppliers.”

Martin Malmvik, president and CEO of Axel Johnson International, said: “IOW Group, the market leader in their geographic markets in Central and Eastern Europe fits very well with Axel Johnson International and Trans-Auto AB. The acquisition of the IOW group provides a platform for expanding our activities in Central and Eastern Europe. We look forward to growing our business together with the IOW team.”

Peter Chudy, partner at Clairfield International and deal leader in Poland, said: “With parties coming from three of Clairfield’s core geographies, this transaction showcases the efficiency with which local Clairfield partner firms cooperate in crossborder projects to get the best possible outcome for our clients.”

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