Last updateMon, 16 May 2022 12pm

Equistone portfolio company on the way to US market leadership: coating specialist Sihl acquires Dietzgen Corporation

The tradition-rich Sihl Group, headquartered in Ostermundigen, Bern, in the portfolio of the investment company Equistone since 2016, has acquired Dietzgen Corporation from Tampa in the US state of Florida. This makes the globally active specialist for the coating and finishing of papers, films and fabrics a leading supplier of coated high-end print media in the USA and gives it major logistical advantages there.

Sihl looks back on well over a hundred years of company history and specialises in the coating and finishing of papers, films and fabrics for an international customer base with locations in Switzerland, Germany and the USA. The successful provider of innovative premium coatings in the fast-growing digital printing market employs more than 350 people and supplies partners in a wide range of industries - from automotive to logistics and tourism to packaging. In mid-2016, funds advised by Equistone acquired a majority stake in the group.
With its subsidiary Sihl Inc. based in Fiskeville in the US state of Rhode Island as a processing and distribution centre, Sihl already has a strong position in the North and South American markets. The product range extends from CAD media and synthetic printing substrates to printable wallpapers and flexible packaging films. The acquisition of a stake in Dietzgen, a well-known provider of processing and distribution services for digital print media such as papers, films and textiles, will now significantly expand the company's position in the US market. The privately held company, founded in 1989, has an extensive dealer network and is known for just-in-time deliveries nationwide thanks to extensive inventory in six particularly convenient locations. Its media brands Dietzgen (CAD and Repro applications), Magic (Signage), Museo (Photo and FineArt) and Validation (Proof) are well established.
Combining strengths with an exceptional offering
The acquisition of Dietzgen marks an important milestone in the strategic development of Sihl Group and is also the first acquisition since Equistone's investment. "This add-on investment not only strengthens Sihl Group's market position in the US quite significantly, but also improves the framework conditions for logistics and distribution at the same time - the benefits for both sides cannot be overlooked," said Stefan Maser, Managing Director and Partner at Equistone. "Together with management, we intend to use the additional tailwind and shared expertise to drive growth and create synergies not only in the Americas," added Equistone Director David Zahnd.
"This transaction underpins our vision of being the leading provider of high-end coated print media in the US," says Peter K. Wahsner, CEO of Sihl Group. "Combining Dietzgen's converting, logistics and distribution capabilities with Sihl's innovative products and level of service creates an exceptional offering for our customers. The new platform will not only allow us to drive growth in our established markets, but also expand our flexible packaging business in the US thanks to Dietzgen's strategically located facilities." Dietzgen Corporation CEO Darren Letang also welcomes the investment, "This is a great move. Our combined strengths create a unique opportunity for both companies and their customers. My management team and I look forward to the future at Sihl Group."
Responsible for the transaction on the part of Equistone Partners Europe are Stefan Maser, David Zahnd and Roman E. Hegglin. Equistone was advised on this transaction by Bär & Karrer (Legal CH, Structuring, Tax), Munich Strategy (Commercial), Deloitte (Financial) and Wuersch & Gering (Legal and Tax US). The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.


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