Livingstone has acted as adviser to the owners in the sale of Johan Walter Berg AB (”Berg Propulsion”) to Caterpillar Inc., a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Berg Propulsion develops, manufactures and sells controllable pitch propellers and propulsion solutions for large vessels. The company, which was founded 1912 and acquired by the current owners in 1999, has built its products on world-leading engineering expertise in areas such as hydrodynamics, marine design and optimised dimensioning.
The company is a global market leader within midsized controllable pitch propellers, where the company has a global market share exceeding 20 percent. Berg Propulsion has production in Sweden and Singapore, more than 300 employees and revenues of over SEK 1bn. Livingstone has assisted the owners of Berg Propulsion throughout the complete sales process, including preparations, drafting of information documents, marketing contacts with interested parties, due diligence and final negotiations.
“The interest for Berg Propulsion has been huge. Berg Propulsion’s strong global market position, unique expertise and products in combination with an exciting future potential has together with a great interest for the marine industry created a broad interest among industrial buyers,” comments Kenneth Westlund, Partner at Livingstone.
The buyer, Caterpillar Inc., is a global manufacturer of industrial products including e.g. diesel engines, construction machinery and mining equipment. Caterpillar Inc., with a market cap of more than USD 55bn, has around 130,000 employees and revenues of approximately USD 66bn. Through the acquisition of Berg Propulsion, Caterpillar gets strategic and industrial expertise and a complementary product portfolio for supply of complete propulsion solutions for vessels, including a full set of components from diesel engines to propellers. Completion of the transaction requires regulatory approvals and customary conditions. Closing is expected to the third quarter in 2013.
“The industry for marine applications and services is very interesting and we see a continued interest from large international companies for expansion and acquisitions in the Nordic market,” comments Thomas Karlsson, Partner at Livingstone.