Following a very successful growth path, Afinum 7 sells its investment in LIFTKET to private equity investor Ardian. Under Afinum’s ownership, EBITDA has more than doubled and LIFTKET developed from a national hidden champion into the global leader for lifting and motion control technology for mission-critical environments in the entertainment, renewables, and industrial end-markets.
Founded in 1948 by Dietrich Hoffmann, LIFTKET is a global leader in advanced lifting (electric chain hoists) and motion control technology. Afinum’s investment into the business back in 2016 represented Afinum’s largest ever investment at the time. The transaction was sourced through Afinum’s strong network of partners in a proprietary deal situation with the founder family.
Afinum built an outstanding management team from the outset of the transaction which executed the strategic plan outlined in the initial investment thesis perfectly and executed the envisaged internationalization and add-on strategy with the acquisitions of ChainMaster in 2018, Movecat in 2019 and Hoystek in 2020. Consequently, LIFTKET evolved from a more regional business with a single location in Wurzen to a resilient international platform with additional locations in Canada, Great Britain, India and Germany. The share of international revenues under Afinum’s tenure expanded substantially to over 70% in the current year.
During Afinum’s holding period, the number of employees increased by more than 30% and production-output of electrical chain hoists advanced significantly to an installed base of worldwide c. 700,000 today.
The exit reflects the sixth highly successful exit for the Afinum 7 fund and the highest absolute capital gain in Afinum history. In order to build on the Afinum team’s experience and relationship with LIFTKET, Afinum 9 was asked to join the shareholder base alongside the management team, hereby co-investing in an asset that the team knows very well and considers highly attractive.