Partnering with two German Mittelstand families

Our long tradition of collaboration with founding families continues into new geographies.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the businessman Carl Kaefer began to understand the excellent insulation characteristics of peat whilst working in peat processing. This led to the foundation of the company named after the founder, with the idea to insulate the cooling areas in ships with peat. 

From early days working at the shipyards in Bremen, the company has now grown to a global giant with 30 000 employee company and an annual turnover of around €1.8 billion. the company has become a reliable and efficient provider of technical industrial services in Industry, Marine & Offshore and Construction and services expansion from insulation only to also include access solutions, surface protection, passive fire protection, electro-/​mechanical- and specialized services as well as interior outfitting. 

Over the 100 years the company has been part of many exciting projects around the world: from the largest floating gas platform off the coast of Norway and work on Hamburg’s Elbe Tunnel and the “Queen Mary 2” cruise ship to new production divisions in Abu Dhabi and large-scale construction projects in Vietnam.  

Now, the ambition is clear: to become an important part of building a sustainable, energy-efficient future.

Moritz Koch, Chairman of the Board

“Altor and SMS have been diligently selected and are our real partners of choice as long-term oriented and family shareholders.”

In the end of 2021, Altor and SMS Group jointly agreed to invest in the company reaching a 50% shareholding to support the continued internationalization and excellence programs. With the additional equity investment, the company will scale its solid platform through M&A and invest in expanding its services in industries benefitting from sustainability developments such as decarbonization and energy transition. 

SMS is a German family-owned company, headquartered in Düsseldorf. It has outstanding expertise within the metals sector and brings 150 years of experience in industrial project business, innovation and digital know-how.

Moritz Koch, Chairman of the KAEFER Board, noted that “This is a key milestone in shaping our future and opening a new chapter of our company history. SMS and Altor have been diligently selected and are our real partners of choice as long-term oriented and family shareholders.”

“We are truly impressed by the business that they have built over more than a century. The company has consistently delivered excellence globally” says Giovanna Maag, Partner at Altor, “We are humbled to be able to partner with the two prestigious German family companies. Together we will invest in a strategic roadmap to continue succeeding internationally, and we look forward to working with the family and the management team.”

Published: Aug 12 2022


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