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Waberer’s announces €12 mln capital raise through new ownership

Leading Hungarian road haulage company Waberer’s Holding has introduced a new owner in the company, Mid Europa Partners investment fund. The move will allow a capital raise of €12 million to be spent on developments and acquisitions.

Waberer’s Holding has doubled its turnover in the past six years, and this agreement will allow the company to repeat that feat at an even faster rate, chairman/CEO of the company György Wáberer told reporters. Mid Europa Partners acquired a 49.05% ownership stake and declared a €12 million capital raise in the company to be spent on acquisitions and upgrading as well as expanding the standing capacities. According to the fund’s senior partner Craig Butcher,Mid Europa is open to putting up additional funding in the future if tempting acquisition targets arise.

Waberer’s is the first logistics company for Mid Europa to invest in, having mostly targeted IT and telecoms firms in Hungary, as well as the other 14 countries where it operates. Being a mid-term investor, the fund is planning a duration of three to five years, with an eventual exit through the floatation of its stocks at the Budapest Stock Exchange, Butcher said. He added that the new owner is satisfied with the company’s strategy and will therefore motion no changes in the general approach. Regarding the IPO, Wáberer did not give a specific date, but noted the decision could come in two to three years.

Regarding the possible acquisition targets, Wáberer pointed out that there is a lower limit, meaning only road freight firms with a fleet of at least 300 trucks come into consideration in Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic. Asked how many such firms are available on the Hungarian market, Wáberer replied “three”. At the same time he would not confirm his holding would be moving to take over the handful of rivals it has in the country. “We are only looking at companies that are for sale,” he told the BBJ. Nonetheless, Waberer’s is committed to become the third beigest player of its industry on the continent.

The company will first begin spending on its fleet of 2,300 vehicles, buying 300 to 400 new ones as well as rolling out older trucks and replacing them with newer alternatives. As Wáberer explained, these upgrades to the latest models usually bring about 1-2% cuts in fuel consumption, but as much as 5-10% reduction in harmful emissions.

Waberer’s Holding’s estimated 2010 revenues came to €331 million or HUF 95 billion. Mid Europa Partners is one of the biggest independent capital investment funds, managing assets worth €3.2 billion.