Direct Investments

NORD Holding sells UNICOR to GAW Group Holding, Graz


The world leader in machinery for corrugated pipe production obtains a new growth partner after 7 years

NORD Holding has sold its majority stake in the Franconia-based UNICOR GmbH from Haßfurt near Würzburg. The new owner is theGAW Group Pildner-Steinburg Holding GmbH, a family-run industrial plants holding from Graz, Austria.

With about 140 employees, UNICOR is the premium manufacturer of special machines (corrugators) for the production of corrugated plastic pipes. Its customers include virtually all renowned corrugated pipe manufacturers worldwide. Applications for corrugated plastic pipes include drainage systems, cable protection and various technical applications.

Together with the management, NORD Holding acquired the engineering company from the Finnish Uponor Group in 2005, which it has sustainably developed as an independent company since then. Despite the difficult economic climate, the support of NORD Holding with the acquisition of Fränkische Rohrwerke's machinery business, provided the basis for further growth in 2009.

Robert Pauli, who was primarily responsible for NORD Holding's participation explains: "We are particularly pleased that in the GAW Group we were able to find a strategic long-term investor, who, with more than 60 years experience and expertise in the field of industrial plants and machinery, is an ideal partner to accompany UNICOR with the growth activities we initiated. After seven years, we are delivering the company into good hands".

The current management team, consisting of CEO Klaus Kaufmann,Gerhard Häfner (Technical Management) and Hubert Koßner(Development) will continue to remain both in the management and as shareholders in the company.

The GAW Group, a global group of companies for industrial plant construction and engineering provides innovative and customised solutions from a single source in the three strategic areas of Paper, Automotive and Industrial Solutions and Environmental Solutions. With 1,300 employees and an export quota of 90 %, the company generates an annual turnover of 200 million euros.

With its over 40-year history NORD Holding is among the leading private equity investors for SMEs. Their main activity is the structuring and financing of corporate succession models, the acquisition of parts of groups / subsidiaries and the expansion financing of SMEs.NORD Holding's investors are several North German savings banks, public insurance companies and pension funds as well as the North German Landesbank.

Unlike most other financial investors, who only manage temporary funds, NORD Holding operates as a so-called "Evergreen fund",without a time limitation, and invests from its own balance sheet. This gives the participating companies the opportunity to develop without external pressure and to use their growth potential. The company is currently involved with more than 30 companies in Germany and other German-speaking countries.

As a technologically leading engineering company focussing on a global niche market, UNICOR is excellently positioned within our group.

Robert Assl-Pildner-Steinburg

About NORD Holding

With its 50-year history and over € 2.0 billion assets under management, NORD Holding is one of the leading private equity asset managers in Germany with a focus on direct and fund investments.

The fund investments division targets the small- and mid-cap segment of the European private equity market through primaries, secondaries and co-investments.

NORD Holding has a strong focus on emerging buyout managers, hands-on investment strategies and regularly acts as an anchor investor. The division manages € 1.3 billion and ranks among the top decile fund investment groups in Europe.

The direct investments division of NORD Holding focuses on structuring and financing company succession models, acquiring parts of larger groups/subsidiaries as well as on expansion financing of medium-sized companies. In contrast to most other financial investors, who only manage closed-end funds, NORD Holding acts as a so-called "evergreen fund", thereby investing from its own balance sheet with no maturity restrictions. Currently, the fund has interests in more than 15 companies in the DACH region.

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NORD Holding
Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft mbH
Christiane Lukas
Walderseestraße 23
30177 Hannover