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3i announces sale of ATESTEO generating a euro money multiple of 4.4x

3i Group plc (“3i”) announces the sale of ATESTEO, an international drivetrain testing specialist, to IHO Holding GmbH & Co. KG (“IHO Holding”), holding company of the Schaeffler family. Proceeds to 3i are estimated to be €307m subject to closing adjustments, representing a euro money multiple of 4.4x. This compares to a valuation of €207m (£182m) at 30 September 2017.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Alsdorf near Aachen, Germany, ATESTEO is the world leader in independent drivetrain testing. It has about 800 employees and 135 testing benches in Germany, Japan, China and North America. Based on cutting-edge testing technology, the company offers a cost efficient alternative to in-house durability testing for automotive OEMs and their suppliers. Its customers include virtually all the leading OEMs and transmission manufacturers.

In 2013, 3i invested in ATESTEO in an all equity deal. Since then, the company has delivered a number of growth initiatives and improvements to its systems and processes, leading to operational and financial out-performance. It has transitioned from a founder-owned business to a world leader in global testing services with a clear competitive advantage in lab-based testing. Its EBITDA has more than doubled, and it has seen a 30% increase in testing capacity. Over the course of 3i’s ownership, the business has been refinanced twice, and has invested €45m in capex for growth.

In 2017, ATESTEO made two strategic acquisitions to expand its testing services portfolio. The acquisition of TÜV SÜD’s Engine/Drivetrain Technology and Components Testing division increased group capacity by 10%, whilst the acquisition of straesser expanded the company’s offering in the field of road testing. ATESTEO has also expanded in the high growth Chinese market, doubling its capacity there since 2013 with an increase in its number of testing benches from 10 to 20.

Ulf von Haacke, Partner & Head of Industrial at 3i Germany, commented:

“During our investment period, ATESTEO has cemented its leading market position in the independent drivetrain testing space and has increased its exposure to hybrid and electric vehicle technologies. Today, the company is well positioned to lead the way in testing the quality of increasingly electrified and autonomous automotive technology. We would like to thank Wolfgang Schmitz and his team for their commitment, and we wish them well in the future.”

Wolfgang Schmitz, Chairman of the Management Board of ATESTEO, added:

“The 3i team has been a huge support in helping us to advance our international expansion and expand our footprint into growth markets such as China. We look forward to working with IHO Holding, who will enable us to further develop our offering and navigate the rapid changes taking place in the sector.”

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For further information, contact:

3i Group plc
Kathryn van der Kroft
Media enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3021

Silvia Santoro
Investor enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3258


Notes to editors:

About 3i Group

3i is an investment company with two complementary businesses, Private Equity and Infrastructure, specialising in core investment markets in Northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit:

3i’s Private Equity team provides investment solutions for growing companies, backing entrepreneurs and management teams of mid-market companies with an EV typically between €100m - €500m. We back international growth plans, providing access to our network and expertise to accelerate the growth of companies across the consumer, industrials and business and technology services industries.


ATESTEO GmbH, headquartered in Alsdorf, is the worldwide leading independent service provider for drivetrain testing with about 800 employees and 135 drivetrain testing test benches in Germany and China. Its customers include virtually all automotive and transmission manufacturers. The company offers quality assurance through efficient endurance tests and functional tests of manual and automatic transmissions, differentials, as well as hybrid and electric powertrains.

Regulatory information

This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Germany. 

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