Jet Investment sells engineering company PBS POWER EQUIPMENT to French industrial group Babcock Wanson
(Brno, March 1st 2023) Czech-based industrial investor Jet Investment has another successful divestment under its belt. They have sold PBS POWER EQUIPMENT from their Jet 1 fund to the French engineering group Babcock Wanson.
Jet Investment had owned PBS POWER EQUIPMENT in Trebic since 2007, when they founded the company as a greenfield subsidiary of its parent company PBS INDUSTRY. Over 15 years under Jet Investment, it has become a market leader in industrial burners and boilers with annual sales of nearly CZK 200 million.
Initially, the idea was to establish a small engineering start-up based on the then-unprofitable burner production in Trebic. However, PBS POWER EQUIPMENT has become a strong brand that has brought exceptional returns to the investors from Jet Investment.
"Over 15 years, we have shaped PBS POWER EQUIPMENT into a respected energy solutions manufacturer with a strong market share in the Czech Republic and many international project references from Japan to South America. The sale of the company is the result of this long-term and strategic development. We were looking for a strong partner that could further accelerate its growth. We have found him in Babcock Wanson, a major international provider of industrial heating equipment and solutions with a pedigree dating back over one hundred years. We believe that joining a strong international group will open up new markets and synergies for PBS POWER EQUIPMENT," says Igor Fait, founding partner of Jet Investment.
Although PBS POWER EQUIPMENT started with just three people and was one of the smallest companies in Jet Investment's portfolio, it grew year after year. It regularly reported positive EBITDA - even with a year-on-year increase of around 30% in the first six years. The company's growth was also due to its emphasis on development, with the now former owner of Jet Investment investing a significant portion of the company's profits in R&D. The company has a long-standing relationship with the Brno University of Technology (VUT) and still benefits, for example, from the development of low-emission burners launched a decade ago. Four years later, Třebíč expanded its product portfolio to include fire-tube boilers, accounting for roughly half of the company's turnover.
The emphasis on research and development and expanding the product portfolio and services is how Jet Investment increases the value of its companies. In the past, it has done so with companies such as technical fabrics manufacturer Kordárna Plus, MSV Metal Studénka and woodworker Less&Timber. Jet Investment has earned an IRR of 25% thanks to these transactions over the past 25 years.
PBS POWER EQUIPMENT exports industrial boilers and burners to countries such as Japan, India, Indonesia, Iraq, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Brazil and Vietnam. The company's vast geographical spread was one of the reasons why the French engineering company Babcock Wanson showed considerable interest in the company, in addition to its excellent economic results and the complementarity of its product range. Although Babcock Wanson is a larger company, it exports mainly to Western Europe; with the PBS POWER EQUIPMENT acquisition, Babcock Wanson Group reinforces its position within Central Eastern Europe.
The main legal counsel on the Jet Investment side was the law firm DRV Legal.