Dr. Sven Oleownik, Partner and Head of Germany at Gimv Germany, discussed Gimv’s investment in Punch Powertrain, a Chinese-markets-oriented independent supplier of innovative, clean, powertrain technology. Dr. Oleownik showcased Gimv’s investment and exit process, as well as the strategic development all standing under the firm’s enquiry to get into the right market in China.
Gimv, a European pioneer in Private Equity and Venture Capital, has a proven future-oriented strategy with a diversified portfolio of about 50 companies. Its key platforms of focus being smart industries, connected consumers, health care and sustainable cities. Building upon this strategy Gimv invested in the €35m EV (€15m equity and €20m debt) and negative EBITDA Powertrain in 2009. Despite the automotive market being in its deepest crisis ever, as well as Punch Powertrain’s loss of its single costumer—BMW Mini—Gimv saw the investment rationale of the Chinese market drivers aligning with the Punch Powertrain offering.
In the first six months, Gimv initiated ground-setting implementations regarding strategic development for long term transformations concerning sales, operations, corporate development/M&A, and HR development. Dr. Oleownik highlighted Gimvs’ partial exit in end 2013, four years after the firms strategic initiatives, thereby laying the groundwork for the firm’s complete exit in August 2016.
Furthermore, Dr. Oleownik emphasized Gimv’s exit approach of aligning management and shareholders before continuing with banker selection and selecting a process preparation consultant.
The effectiveness of this strategy was clear, seeing that of the 10 initially contacted buyers, 7 made an offer before the broader auction process was even launched. With an exit equity value of €965m, Gimv gained €290m of capital and thereby signed the largest deal in Belgium in 2016.
Through Gimv’s investment, Punch Powertrain not only secured an EBITDA growth of €500m, but also €100m of deleverage in working capital and tax optimization, and an additional €300m with the help of multiple arbitrage such as strategic improvement and reduced risk profile.
Following this successful venture, Dr. Oleownik was keen to share the important lessons Gimv learned through its investment, not only serving as a success story of an Europe-China-cross-border M&A, but of a firm securing a place in the Chinese market.