Jan 15, 2007

Hevea sells its consumer division Viking fottøy AS to Bertel O. Steen AS

Peter Traas, Managing Director of Hevea says: “With the Dunlop brand, we own the leading brand for protective footwear in Europe for predominately industrial applications."

"Our strategic objective is to further expand this position. Our activities also reach to The United States, Canada and Russia where we have been able to realise a considerable growth over the past couple of years. At the end of 2006 we invested significantly in our Dutch (Raalte) production facilities, increasing output by more than 25%. With the current growth figures it is to be expected that further capacity extensions are necessary. The sale of our Viking activities fits perfectly in this strategy to further expand our Dunlop business. We are pleased to have found Bertel O. Steen, as the new owner of Viking fottøy.”

About Hevea

Hevea was spun off from Vredestein in 2004 through a management buy-out backed by Gilde. Hevea’s history dates back to 1904 when it started with the production of bicycle and car tyres in the Dutch city of Hoogezand. In 1960 the company started with the production of rubber boots and by 1962 Vredestein had acquired Hevea. In 1980 Hevea was the first company to produce polyurethane boots. Through various acquisitions, in amongst other Ireland, Portugal, England, Norway and France, Hevea has grown into a true European player. Since 1948, Hevea’s head office is located in Raalte, The Netherlands.

In 2006 Hevea realised a turnover of € 75 million.

About Bertel O. Steen

Bertel O. Steen is part of one of the largest privately held group of companies in Norway. The group is engaged in 3 main areas: Car import (Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Smart, Daihatsu, Kia, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge), real estate and industry. Bertel O. Steen has long traditions within the sport and leisure sector, and is amongst other the exclusive distributor of Asics in Scandinavia.

In 2005 Bertel O. Steen realised a turnover of € 950 million.

About Gilde

Gilde is a renowned European private equity investor with multiple funds under management, in excess of EUR 1.5 billion. The investment in Hevea was made out of the Gilde Participaties Fund, which in October 2006 closed following the successful fundraising of Gilde Equity Management (GEM) Benelux. This EUR 150 million fund is focused on realizing smaller mid market buy-outs in the Benelux. In November 2006, GEM Benelux realized its first investment through the buy-out of Hamal Signature, the leading Belgian salad producer and marketer, owning strong brand names like Johma and Hamal. In December 2006, the Fund closed its second investment, which was the buy-out of Kroon-Oil and Oliebron, the lubricants business that it acquired from Royal Dutch Shell.

For more information:

Hevea BV
Peter Traas, managing director
Phone +31 572 341 537

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