Altor to acquire 80 percent of Dustin

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Altor is to acquire 80 percent of the shares in Dustin, Sweden’s leading company in the trading of computers and computer equipments on the Internet and by mail order. The remaining portion of Dustin will be retained by the founders and the current owners.

– Dustin has had impressive growth and strong profitability for many years. It is important for us to build on the business model and the unique corporate culture that has made Dustin successful, with strong customer focus, high service level, and rapid and secure deliveries. In cooperation with management, we will now take Dustin to the next level. The strategy is for growth, organically and through acquisition, and to expand geographic presence, says Harald Mix, partner in Altor Equity Partners.

Dustin was formed in Stockholm in 1984 and its sales for the most recent financial year (September 2004 – August 2005) totaled SEK 2.2 billion. When Internet sales of computer equipments commenced ten years ago, the company had annual sales of SEK 200 M. Dustin specializes in supplying a broad range of computer equipments, primarily to businesses. The number of products totals slightly more than 65,000.

Dustin works closely with suppliers and manufacturers. This is important in an industry, in which customers needs change rapidly. For Dustin, this means that its range expands by about 100 new products every day.

The business concept is based on quality at all levels, with a high degree of service as the foundation. Since customers often require computer equipments in acute situations, Dustin has built up a system for quick and secure deliveries. The time from order to delivery shall be a maximum of 24 hours.

– Through Altor as its new principal owner, Dustin will have a strong partner with financial resources and extensive expertise in developing the customer offering and accelerating growth, both organically and through acquisition, says Andréas Ståhl, CEO of Dustin AB.

In Sweden, sales of computer equipments on the Internet amount to slightly more than 5 percent of the total market. However, there is strong development in the growth of trade on the Internet and this has increased significantly faster than the rest of the market in recent years.

Altor has been operating for three years and specializes in acquiring complete or majority shareholdings in medium-size companies in the Nordic region. Similar to Dustin, many of these companies were formerly family-owned. Other examples of family-owned companies acquired by Altor are Byggmax, Piab and Nimbus Boats.

– Our investment strategy is to capitalize on opportunities in terms of growth and consolidation in various industries. Consequently, we look for companies that can form the hub of something much larger. Dustin is definitely such a company, says Harald Mix.

The offer to Dustin’s shareholders is conditional upon the approval of the transaction by the competition authorities.

About Dustin
Dustin, formed in 1984, is Sweden’s largest Internet-based distributor of IT products and home electronics. Dustin comprises three business areas; Business, Consumer and Partner, whereby the first two focus on the sale of IT products and home electronics to companies and the private market, while the third focuses on the sale of software to the corporate market. Dustin has annual sales of approximately SEK 2,200 M and has about 160 employees. Since 2000, the company’s core operations have grown by 11 percent each year, with a gross margin of about 15 percent

About Altor
The Altor funds (Altor) are private equity funds comprising the Altor 2003 Fund with EUR 650 million in capital and Altor Fund II with EUR 1150 million in capital. It is advised by Altor Equity Partners AB. Altor focuses on Nordic investments with enterprise value ranging from SEK 500 million to SEK 4 billion with value creation opportunities based on growth, strategic re-positioning and operational improvements. Altor Equity Partners AB has 25 employees, highly qualified and experienced in supporting companies through the change process. Since its inception, Altor investments include Aco Hud (exited in 2004), Byggmax, Dynapac, Nimbus Boats, Relacom, Lindorff, AGR Ability Group (listed on Oslo Stock Exchange), Simrad Yachting, Aalborg Industries, Ferrosan, Meyn and PaloDEx.