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ABN AMRO Capital acquires Swedish industrial automation equipment supplier FlexLink

Stockholm, 28 April 2005 -- ABN AMRO Capital has successfully signed its second deal in the Nordic region this year, with the EUR 153 million acquisition of Swedish industrial equipment supplier FlexLink AB.

The company was acquired via a management buy-out from EQT, the private equity funds group, who originally acquired a 90% interest in FlexLink from AB SKF in 1997.

Founded in 1980 and based in Gothenburg, FlexLink manufactures factory automation systems for the fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics and telecom sectors. The company has offices in 21 countries employing 540 staff and had turnover of EUR 125 million in 2004.

Johan Bjurström, Nordic Head of ABN AMRO Capital, said the company had prospered under its previous ownership but had further potential for geographic growth and to lead consolidation in its sector – key investment criteria for ABN AMRO Capital.

“FlexLink is well positioned for future growth, as factory automation systems continue to develop in sophistication in response to the increased use of robotics and the growing need for flexibility in manufacturing,” he said.

The deal follows ABN AMRO Capital’ s acquisition last month of Danish retail, food and consumer products group Glud & Marstrand Invest A/S. The company was acquired in a secondary buy-out together with its management.

Last year ABN AMRO Capital sold its majority stake in Sweden based IVT, one of Europe’ s leading heat pump manufacturers, to Bosch’ s heating products subsidiary BBT Thermotechnik. The business also acquired Finnish homeware designer littala in an MBO in June of last year. ABN AMRO Capital is the global private equity business of ABN AMRO, with teams operating in 10 countries worldwide including the Netherlands, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Australia.

Total funds under management (as at end Dec 04) by ABN AMRO Capital are EUR 1.9 bln, of which EUR 140 mln of capital is provided by international investors in ABN AMRO Capital managed funds in the UK and France. A fund is currently being raised in Australia.

Last year ABN AMRO Capital completed 13 buy-outs with an aggregate deal value of EUR 2.8 bln (and an aggregate ABN AMRO Capital equity investment of EUR 431 mln), as well as 12 exits with total proceeds of approximately EUR 730 mln.

Netherlands-based ABN AMRO is a leading international bank with total assets of EUR 608.6 bln (as at 31 December 2004). It has over 3,000 branches in more than 60 countries and territories, and has a staff of about 100,000 full-time equivalents worldwide. ABN AMRO is listed on the Euronext and New York stock exchanges.

ABN AMRO operates through three Strategic Business Units, each responsible for managing a distinct client segment. Wholesale Clients provides integrated corporate and investment banking services to corporate, institutional and public sector clients worldwide. Consumer & Commercial Clients focuses on retail and SME clients in three home markets – the Netherlands, the US Midwest and Brazil and in a number of selected growth markets. Private Clients & Asset Management provides private banking services to wealthy clients and investment products to financial intermediaries and institutional clients.

EQT is a group of private equity funds that manages just below € 6 billion in equity in 7 funds. EQT Partners, acting as investment advisor to all EQT funds, has offices in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Munich. EQT realises its business concept by acquiring and developing high-quality medium sized companies in Northern Europe. EQT serves as an active owner and works in close co-operation with the management of the companies it acquires, to develop and implement value-enhancing strategies. In total EQT has invested in 37 companies, with a combined enterprise value of approximately € 13 billion.

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+44 20 7678 5111

Company profile of ABN AMRO
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