Case study : Moeller


  •  €30 m

    Annualised saving from sourcing and procurement improvements. This included supplier consolidation and greater process efficiency.

  •  11%

    Moeller increased revenues in its core business by 11% a year under Doughty Hanson’s ownership.

  •  €1.6bn

    The amount Moeller was sold for, representing a gross equity IRR of 54%.

Block01 AW In September 2005, Doughty Hanson acquired a majority stake in Moeller for €1.1 billion, including pension liabilities and financial debt.

At the time of the acquisition, Moeller was one of the largest global manufacturers of low-voltage electrical distribution and automation components for industrial, commercial and residential applications. Founded in 1899, Moeller is based in Bonn, Germany, and employs more than 8,000 people.

The company was organised into two divisions – Industrial Automation and Building Automation – and had an international manufacturing footprint that enabled it to leverage the opportunities offered by global growth markets.

Our Investment Rationale

Moeller represented an extremely attractive investment for the following reasons:

  • Market and technological leader in low-voltage electrical distribution and automation components.
  • State-of-the-art product portfolio combined with strong research and development capability.
  • High barriers to entry due to the safety-critical nature of its product portfolio.
  • Strong organic growth prospects in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Our Achievements

Over a period of two-and-a-half years, Moeller maintained market-leading positions in its mature markets and expanded significantly in growth markets, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia. This was supported by the opening of new assembly plants in Serbia and Russia, and the expansion of activities in India, China and Brazil.

Strong top-line growth was improved by the successful implementation of the following key initiatives:

  • A group-wide sourcing and procurement savings programme introduced to help Moeller make the most of its economies of scale. This was supported by a realigned organisational structure to ensure the cost savings were sustainable.
  • A new manufacturing strategy for Moeller’s industrial division focused on transforming the German plants into best-in-class production facilities, producing key components with advanced technological know-how. As part of the strategy, routine assembly and various non-core processes were moved to lower-cost locations. This allowed Moeller to be competitive while retaining its manufacturing and skill base in Germany.

Creating Value for Investors

Under Doughty Hanson’s ownership, Moeller increased revenues in its core business by an 11% compound annual growth rate from €760m to €1,048m (April 2005 - April 2008). It also opened seven new operations globally and created more than 170 additional jobs worldwide.

In April 2008, Moeller was sold to global power distribution giant Eaton Corporation for €1.6bn.

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