Manufacturer braced for private equity takeover

A New York-based private equity firm has revealed its plans for German B2B coffee machine maker WMF if a takeover bid it has made is sanctioned.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), which has offices around the world, announced its €727m (£576m) offer earlier this week and confirmed it had entered into a binding agreement to acquire the shareholdings in WMF currently held by Crystal Capital.

That shareholding currently represents approximately 52 % of WMF AG’s ordinary shares and 5% of the company’s preference shares.

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If the deal receives the necessary regulatory approvals then KKR intends to implement a growth strategy that involves building on WMF’s market strengths in kitchenware and tableware as well as professional fully automated coffee machines.

It has vowed to work closely with the management team of WMF to seize upon what it terms “substantial growth opportunities” for further market penetration and international expansion, particularly in Asia and the USA.

Silke Scheiber, director at KKR, said: "We believe WMF, with its iconic brand name, is a true German industry champion with significant further growth potential. As a partner, we offer a strong international network and decades of experience in building global market leaders. We look forward to working with the management and employees of WMF to continue WMF’s success story globally."

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