Storskogen acquires automation company LNS and expands its footprint in DACH

Regulatory information
Transactions, Industry

Storskogen Group AB (publ) (“Storskogen” or “the Group”) has on 27 December 2021 signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in LNS Holding SA (“LNS” or “LNS Group”), a global market leader within automation peripherals and services based in Orvin, Switzerland. The acquisition will strengthen Storskogen’s position within automation as well as its footprint in the DACH region, further accelerating the Group’s international expansion. The purchase price amounts to CHF 185 million on a cash -and debt free basis and will be financed with existing funds. LNS has over 950 FTEs and reported net sales of CHF 180 million with an EBITA of CHF 20.6 million for the last twelve month period ending 30 September 2021.

LNS was founded in 1973. During its nearly five decades of existence LNS has evolved into a global leader of world class automation peripherals and services, through regional and product family diversification. LNS has nine production sites in all major regions around the globe and a sales network spanning 65 representations in 31 countries. The company is headquartered in Orvin, Switzerland. Prior to Storskogen’s acquisition, LNS is fully owned by the Scemama family (“the Sellers”).

Storskogen sees the acquisition of LNS as a logical step in its international expansion, as LNS significantly increases the Group’s presence in the DACH region. LNS has a global reach in a fragmented market where Storskogen sees opportunities to capitalise on trends such as automation, re-shoring of production activities as well as continued growth through acquisitions. Storskogen aims to be a partner in the roll-out of new product families and to further drive digitalisation and optimise LNS’ operations in order to support further growth of LNS.

Daniel Kaplan, CEO and co-founder of Storskogen, comments:
“LNS has a track record of solid cash flow and strong margins which makes it a logical addition to our family of companies. In addition, the market for automation peripherals is fragmented and expected to grow in the coming years as a result from increased digitalisation and productivity, providing opportunities to grow organically and via further acquisitions. I am looking forward to supporting the LNS team in its continued journey in capitalising on the ongoing automation trend in an attractive and structurally growing market.”

Philippe Scemama, President and co-owner of LNS, comments:
“Nearly 50 years ago my family founded LNS SA, a micro-enterprise active in the regional watchmaking market. Since then, my brother Yves, our management and I have worked hard to grow our company, which has become a renowned international group that we are proud of. Today we are pleased to pass the relay to an ambitious acquirer whose values we share. We are confident in Storskogen's will and capacities to continue this industrial adventure and to perpetuate the success of the LNS Group. Finally, I would like to warmly thank all the employees who have accompanied us along this path.”

Gilbert Lile, CEO of LNS Group, comments:
“The LNS Group has laid a very strong foundation for future growth, with a dominant position in certain geographic markets and certain product families. The acquisition of LNS by Storskogen as a collaborative partner will offer us long term stability and allow us to accelerate our growth, organic and through acquisitions, to penetrate new markets, to add new product families and to consolidate the fragmented machine tool peripheral market. We aim to further reinforce our position as a global leader of world class machine tool peripherals and services, satisfying the most demanding customer expectations, locally and globally.”

Upon completion of the acquisition, LNS will be included in the vertical Automation within Storskogen’s business area Industry. LNS’ management team under the leadership of its CEO Gilbert Lile will remain in place after the closing of the transaction and will continue to serve LNS' customers based on the company's mission, vision, values, and DNA.

The agreed purchase price of CHF 185 million, on a cash -and debt free basis, will be paid in cash to the Sellers upon completion of the acquisition. The acquisition will be financied through Storskogen’s existing funds. The Sellers may receive an earn-out purchase price payment of up to CHF 15 million, payable in cash, if LNS reaches certain profit related thresholds in 2022. The earn-out consideration, if the thresholds are achieved, would be payable in cash in one installment in 2023. Assuming fully paid earn-outs, the purchase price amounts to CHF 200 million.

The acquisition is expected to have a significantly positive effect on Storskogen’s earnings per share during 2022. In 2020, LNS reported net sales of CHF 140 million, corresponding to approximately SEK 1.4 billion. EBITA amounted to CHF 11.3 million, approximately SEK 111 million, corresponding to an EBITA margin of 8.1%. For the last twelve month period ending on 30 September 2021, net sales amounted to CHF 180 million with an EBITA of CHF 20.6 million, corresponding to approximately SEK 1.7 billion and SEK 193 million, respectively, and an EBITA margin of 11.4%.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter 2022.

About LNS Group
The experience gathered since the creation of LNS in 1973 has allowed the group to reach a position as a worldwide leader in the field of machine-tool peripherals. The LNS organisation has been fine-tuned to be even closer to the regional markets and to respond even faster to future developments. Based on the principle of sustainability and the knowledge of the customer requirements, over 190,000 bar feeders, 165,000 chip conveyors, 43,000 high pressure coolant systems, 19,000 air filtration systems and 7,500 work holding systems have been installed by LNS worldwide. Leveraging on the experience gained in nearly five decades of existence, LNS has laid a very strong foundation for future growth in order to fulfil its mission of being the global partner of choice automating manufacturing with innovative solutions.

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Kaplan, CEO and co-founder
Tel: +46 739 209 400

Lena Glader, CFO
Tel: +46 739 884 466

This press release contains inside information that Storskogen Group AB (publ) is required to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication by the above contact person on 27 December 2021 at 07:30 CET.

About Storskogen

Storskogen acquires and manages well-managed and profitable small and medium-sized enterprises within the business areas Industry, Trade and Services in the Nordic countries, DACH and the United Kingdom. On 30 September 2021, Storskogen consisted of 94 business units with a total of approximately 7,000 employees and a trailing annual turnover (RTM) of over SEK 19 billion.