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Bridgepoint “transformed” AHT

UK: Private equity group Bridgepoint achieved a return of over 50% following its €881m sale of AHT to Daikin, and left a lasting legacy on the business.

UK-based Bridgepoint acquired AHT in 2013 for €585m, but invested over €70m in the last three years alone for the development of new products and an expansion of its manufacturing capabilities. During this time the company was transformed from a largely European-focused business to a global supplier of commercial plug-in retail refrigeration equipment.

In addition, AHT achieved a 12% compound revenue growth over last 10 years, achieving net sales of  €481m in 2017.

Headquartered in Austria, with a presence in over 100 countries, the company has an installed base of over one million units. AHT’s contracts are based around the provision of comprehensive installation and maintenance services alongside the products themselves.

“AHT has been transformed from a largely Europe-focused business into a global leader in its segment with a growing presence in a number of attractive international markets,” commented Bridgepoint partner and chairman Michael Davy. “It has been at the forefront of the refrigeration industry’s move away from remote built-in systems to plug-in units which customers find easier to install or relocate, are lower cost to operate, and are typically more environmentally friendly than traditional systems.”

Bridgepoint’s investment has included the expansion of the manufacturing facility in Austria and setting up new production sites in Brazil and the USA. AHT also expanded its operations in China, where its production capability has enabled the group to reduce manufacturing costs, while continuing to grow market share in Europe.

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