Coaches and buses with air conditioning unit shown on one


Multiple of original cost

Deutsche Beteiligungs sold Spheros, the bus climate systems manufacturer, to a trade buyer after a four year holding period.

Key Stats

  • ICG Enterprise Trust exit value: £8.9m
  • Uplift to carrying value: 12%
  • Underlying manager: DBAG
  • Date realised: December 2015
Global market leader in development and manufacturer of air conditioning and heating systems for buses.

ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) invested in Spheros Group in December 2011 both through its commitment to Deutsche Beteiligungs AG Fund V as well as in a co-investment alongside the Fund. ICGT was one of only two co-investors in the deal.

Spheros is a global market leader in the development and manufacture of air conditioning and heating systems for buses. Headquartered in Germany, the company has six production sites on three continents serving both mature Western markets as well as emerging economies where strong growth is underpinned by population growth and the trend towards urbanisation.

Deutsche Beteiligungs (“DBAG”) has a long and successful track record of investing in automotive supply businesses, including Preh in which ICGT also co-invested in 2004.

At the time of acquisition, in a secondary buyout, Spheros employed 700 people and generated revenues of €185 million. Over the four years of ownership by Deutsche Beteiligungs the number of employees increased to 1,045 and revenues grew to €245 million. This was achieved by investing in the company’s capabilities in electronics and by acquiring a similar company in the US.

In December 2015 DBAG agreed to sell Spheros to Valeo, a listed automotive supplier in France achieving a return of 2.5 times original cost, equivalent to an annualised return of 26%. ICGT received the majority of the sales proceeds of £8.9m in April 2016.