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Specialist industrials investor Eisvogel backs third business in robotics and automation sector

Company forecasts global industrial robotics market to double in value to $70 billion in next five years

Eisvogel Group, the specialist industrials investor based in Zurich, has acquired a majority stake in Prisma Group, a leading Italian designer and manufacturer of industrial automation solutions, to support its next stage of growth. The deal value was not disclosed.

This is the third investment that Eisvogel has made since the firm was formed in May 2015 and is typical of its focused approach to backing future industrial champions that are at the forefront of Industry 4.0. 

It backed a third-generation family-owned precision engineering business, Haas Prazisionstechnik, which is based in Germany in May 2016; and a UK-based manufacturer of computer numerical control plasma cutting machines in September 2017, details of which have yet to be released.

As a leading Italian designer and manufacturer of innovative machinery for industrial automation, Prisma is strongly placed to benefit from macro trends such as the growth of Industry 4.0 and Service 2.0.

The business has tripled in size over the last three years, achieving sales of nearly €20 million in 2017.

It is also undergoing significant growth in international markets including Poland, France, Germany and Romania and is expected to generate sales of over €25 million and earnings before tax of over €5 million in 2018.

Drawing on its operational and financial experience, Eisvogel will work with Prisma to develop its production and R&D capabilities, expand its international footprint and extend into new market segments, including the electrical goods industry.

Eisvogel will also look to grow Prisma through a buy and build acquisition strategy.

Following the investment, the founder, Gian Luca Pellegrini, will retain his position as managing director.

Prisma is highly typical of the businesses in which Eisvogel seeks to invest.

Investing from its own balance sheet and raising additional capital from co-investors when required, the firm focuses on family and manager-owned high specification industrial businesses that manufacture components and software for robotics and automation, including associated services; and are headquartered in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria or Northern Italy.

These markets are experiencing strong double digit growth with recent reports estimating that the global industrial robotics market will double in value to reach $70 billion by the year 2023.

Andrew Schemmel, director at Eisvogel said: “We see this as a great entrepreneurial partnership that will build on the success that Prisma has experienced, while also preserving its heritage and culture.

“It is highly representative of how we look to identify and support future industrial champions, providing industrial know how, operational experience and a long-term approach to investment.

“We look forward to working closely with Gian Luca and the Prisma team to push the boundaries of innovation in what is an exciting and fast growing market.”

He added: “This our third investment and as such develops our evolving track record for partnering with high growth industrial businesses that are at the forefront of Industry 4.0.”

Gian Luca Pellegrini, founder and managing director of Prisma, said: “I look forward to an exciting partnership with Eisvogel as Prisma enters its next phase of growth and capitalises on the exciting momentum and growth in the automation market.

“We have a shared vision for continuous innovation and investment to build on the success that Prisma has achieved in the last fifteen years and are confident that there is a very bright future ahead for all stakeholders.”

Eisvogel is led by an entrepreneurial team based in London and Zurich and combines the experience of hands-on operational management, private equity investing and family businesses.

Christophe Jungels-Winkler and Andrew Schemmel represented Eisvogel on this transaction.