Mold-Masters Enters into Strategic Partnership with 3i

08 Aug 2007

3i is making a significant investment in Mold-Masters.  This investment builds on 3i’s long and successful investment history in high growth global industrial leaders.  In the true spirit of partnership, Mold-Masters’ founders and management see this investment as an opportunity to better position the company to capitalize on its global growth opportunities.  Founded in 1963, Jobst & Waltraud Gellert have built Mold-Masters into the leading global manufacturer of hot runner systems for the plastic injection moulding industry.  This transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Hot runner systems are used in the plastic injection moulding across a number of industry verticals including consumer packaging, telecommunications, electronics, automotive and healthcare.  The hot runner industry is a C$1.2bn sector that is growing at 5-7% or more per annum, with substantially stronger growth in Asia.

Mold-Masters is highly diversified across geographies (North and South America, Asia and Europe), industry verticals and customers.  The company is recognised as the industry leader with a strong reputation for quality, customer support and technological innovation (with over 1600 patents pending and received).  The company is well positioned to achieve significant growth over the coming years through a combination of organic growth and accretive acquisitions.

3i’s investment will enable Mold-Masters to accelerate its international expansion in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America and consider acquisition opportunities both in the hot runner segment and beyond.
 
Hamdi Conger, a proven industrialist, will serve as chairman.  Mr. Conger has extensive experience as chairman of several of 3i’s portfolio companies, including Hyva, NORMA Group and AES Seal.  His broad international experience, particularly in Europe & Asia, complements Mold-Masters CEO Jonathon Fischer’s vision for growth.

Ken Hanau, 3i Partner in the New York office, commented: “We are very excited to be partnering with the Gellert family and Jonathon Fischer to help fuel Mold-Masters’ growth initiatives.  Over the last 44 years, the family has built a market leading business based on technological innovation and outstanding customer service.  3i has a long history of partnering with quality family-owned businesses like Mold-Masters to help these companies go to the next level.”

Jonathon Fischer, CEO Mold-Masters commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with 3i.  We were fortunate to have some interesting alternatives in choosing a private equity partner, enabling us to pick 3i for all the right reasons.  We feel that 3i brings the right combination of industry knowledge, international capabilities and patient capital.  We have ambitious plans for Mold-Masters.”

3i’s track record of investing in international industrial businesses include Hyva, a branded producer and supplier of hydraulic cylinder components for commercial vehicles, Benelux; Wendt, a leading manufacturer of abrasive grinding tools and related machinery, Germany; STEN, a Spanish developer of formwork and scaffolding systems for construction and civil engineering projects; and Alimak Hek, a developer of vertical access equipment, Sweden. 

Notes to editors

About Mold-Masters 
Established in 1963, Mold-Masters is a privately-held global company and the world's leading supplier of hot runner technology and systems.  We design, manufacture and support a full range of hot runner products, including hot runner systems, temperature controllers, hot halves and gating technologies.

Headquartered in Georgetown, Canada, Mold-Masters has offices worldwide employing almost 1,000 employees.  We serve customers in over 40 countries and have manufacturing facilities in Germany, China, Japan, the United States, Canada and Brazil.

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”). The firm is very international in scope investing across Europe, the United States and Asia with offices in 14 countries.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

3i Growth Capital is the world’s largest growth capital fund investing over $1.4bn every year in businesses across Europe, Asia and the US.  We provide financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth.  We invest between $20m - $200m to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.  Once we have invested, we are committed to working in partnership with majority shareholders.

Recent Growth Capital investments include KNEIP, $51m, Luxembourg; Delta Hydrocarbons, $255m, Benelux; UFO Moviez, India, $23m; Electrawinds, Benelux, $40m; ACR, Singapore, $200m; Navayuga Engineering, India, $45m and Giraffe, UK, $20m.  Recent realisations include SeLoger.com, France, $455m; Alimak Hek, Sweden, $310m and Salamander Energy, UK, $423m.  

For further information please contact:

Kathryn van der Kroft
email. kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3021