Management buyout of Datwyler gaskets business 14 May 2020

TunnelTalk reporting

For all business operations, there is no change, is the message from the existing managers of Datwyler Sealing Technologies who have bought out the civil engineering division from the Datwyler Group. The only fundamental and significant change is a name change. Going forward the company will be known as the SEALABLE Solutions GmbH, which, the new owners say, expresses the philosophy and focus of the international business.

New name for same industry products and service
New name for same industry products and service

“We have concluded a management buyout,” said existing manager Matthias Orth, “that takes us back to the situation as it was before we were bought in 2012 by Datwyler. Our heritage goes back to the original company Phoenix GmbH which took over the production facilities after the reunification of Germany in 1991 and developed it into the centre of profile production, including the tunnelling industry for segment gaskets and shield seals for TBM launch and breakthroughs. Then came a period of some change of ownership from Continental via a manager buy-in (PDT) and most recently in 2012 by Datwyler of Switzerland. However, in all these eras, the production facility in Waltershausen, in the middle of Germany, was completely independent and a driving force behind the development of seals for tunnel construction.”

Along with continuation of current clients and business operations, the management buyout includes the manufacturing facility and a team of more than 180 employees, and sales of gaskets and products in more than 50 countries. In recent annual accounts, the civil engineering division for Datwyler has generated annual sales of about CHF40 million or €38 million.

Factory in Waltershausen to be fitted with the new name
Factory in Waltershausen to be fitted with the new name
Signature cast-in segment gaskets
Signature cast-in segment gaskets

The buyout by existing managers Orth and Matthias Klug was supported financially by the Hamburg-based investment company BPE. Financial details have not been disclosed.

As well as gaskets for the tunnelling industry, the company also manufactures and supplies products to the railway industry for the suppression of noise and vibration as well as industrial products to other industries. Datwyler bought the manufacturer of elastomer products in 2012 to support its activities in the same field. Sales of the civil engineering division is part of its strategy to focus in future on growing its high-margin operations for the healthcare, mobility, oil and gas, food and beverage industries.

From his office in New Jersey, USA, regional sales representative for North America, Peter Tiedemann told TunnelTalk that the company is generally supplying 20 or more tunnelling projects around the world with segment gaskets and other materials. “The manufacturing facility in Waltershausen is a modern, streamlined production with a large capacity,” he said. “The production operations are ongoing during this coronavirus situation and some of the notable projects that are using, and have used, our gaskets include the Thimble Shoals highway tunnel under Chesapeake Bay; Delaware aqueduct bypass; and Los Angeles Metro Westside extension contracts in the USA; Hiroshima Expressway, Japan; West Gate highway, Melbourne, Australia; Tuen Moon Chek Lap Kok undersea highway, Hong Kong; the three new tunnels under the Suez Canal, Egypt; Follo Line railway project, Norway; and the Woodsmith potash mine mineral transport system in the UK.”


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