Nordic Capital Fund VI has signed an agreement to acquire the Thule Group from Candover. Thule's current pro forma revenues are SEK6.6 billion (€721 million; $937 million) including recent acquisitions.

Thule is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden and has approx 4,000 employees at over 30 production and sales locations on all major car markets in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The company has leading positions in all business segments that it operates in. The product portfolio comprises load carriers for cars such as rooftop boxes, roof rails and bike carriers. Additionally, Thule offers snow chains, trailers, towing systems as well as accessories for motor homes and caravans. Thule has been pursuing a buy and build strategy during the past four years resulting in annual double digit sales and earnings growth. Thule has recently acquired US based Case Logic Inc. the Group’s ninth acquisition since 2004. Case Logic offers organization solutions on a global level. The acquisition will be used as platform for Thule to expand further into adjacent product segments offering accessory solutions for active consumers around the world wanting to transport their equipment sa! fely, easily and in style.

Ulf Rosberg, Partner, Nordic Capital: “Nordic Capital has followed Thule for many years. We are attracted to Thule’s leading market positions, strong brands and proven management team, with whom we will work closely together. There is strong underlying market growth in this sector driven by an increase in outdoor and leisure activities. Thule is an excellent platform both for future add-on acquisitions and for organic growth.”

Anders Pettersson, President & CEO, Thule:
“We welcome Nordic Capital as the new owner of Thule. Nordic Capital has followed us very closely during the past four years and mutual trust has been established. Strategically, we will continue with our buy and build strategy with the aim of creating a one billion Euro company by 2009.”

Thule’s management will reinvest in the new company and continue to be a significant owner.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction value.
The completion of the acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant authorities.