INVESTMENT Case
Autotube
Autotube is a tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry offering pipes for air and fluid distribution for heavy vehicles and passenger cars.

During Accent Equity's ownership, the company grew organic sales by 20% annually, with increasing margins and more than doubled EBITDA.
Industry:
Manufacturing, automotive components
Type of investment:
Carve-out
Investment theme:
Accelerated growth, international expansion
Entry/exit:
2011/2014
Autotube, established in 1956, was at the time of investment a provider of automotive components for both heavy vehicles and passenger cars primarily serving the Nordics. The product assortment included tubes and tube systems for air and fluid distribution as well as other special components for delivery directly to the customers' assembly lines. The company operated two manufacturing facilities in Varberg and Ulricehamn.

Autotube was acquired as a carve-out from the listed company Investment AB Latour in early 2011, along with management. Accent Equity's ambition was to give Autotube resources to further consolidate its position in the market as the customers' first choice in its niche segment, and to further boost the international expansion based on the company's longstanding relations with both Swedish and international motor vehicle manufacturers.
Key initiatives and results during Accent Equity's ownership
Substantial investments in automated production, e.g. robotized production
Strengthened management and increased the number of employees by almost 60% over the holding period which allowed for more focus on customer relationships, new sales and production efficiencies
Rapid organic growth through clearer profiling of the company's capabilities and offering, in turn leading to new customer accounts
Preparation and initiation of further international expansion, e.g. through establishment of a Chinese sales office, analysis of major customers' growth ambitions etc.
Release of working capital by improving the purchasing organisation and entering into more beneficial agreements with larger customers
During Accent Equity's ownership, the company grew organic sales by 20% annually, with increasing margins and more than doubled EBITDA
I want to thank Accent Equity for their commitment and support during the last three years. We have been able to invest for growth and thereby develop new products and customer contacts, which makes us a competitive and attractive sub-supplier to the automotive industry.
- Sven-Olov Libäck, Autotube's CEO 2004–2014
Exit rationale and process

Having completed the suggested investment program while in parallel outperforming the original business plan, management supported the consideration of another change in ownership by 2014.

Accordingly, a large number of potential buyers were identified in a thorough exit process, where both financial and industrial buyers on all major continents were invited. The best industrial fit was found with MGI Coutier, a French industrial automotive sub-supplier listed on NYSE Euronext Paris. MGI Coutier was deemed a suitable buyer as the two companies complemented each with regards to customer base, products assortment as well as geographical coverage. Autotube was sold to MGI Coutier in March 2014 and is now part of the Akwel group.