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Aurelius Sells Schabmueller to Italy’s Zapi for 72 Million Euros

Aurelius AG, the German investment company that buys, restructures and resells firms, agreed to sell Schabmueller GmbH, a maker of electrical motors for forklifts, for more than 17 times the price it paid.

Zapi Group, which makes electronic speed controllers and is based in Poviglio, Italy, will pay 72 million euros ($88 million), Aurelius said in a presentation today.

“It is one of the most successful exits in our history,” Chief Executive Officer Dirk Markus said on a conference call.

Aurelius, based in Munich, purchased stakes in Schabmueller from U.S. company Sauer-Danfoss Inc. in 2007 and 2009 for a total of 4.2 million euros, spokeswoman Anke Banaschewski said.

Shares of Aurelius rose as much as 5.5 percent to 33.05 euros, the highest intraday price since June 13, and were trading up 5.4 percent at 3:08 p.m., valuing the company at 317 million euros.

“The deal shows that Aurelius is able to buy companies cheaply, increase their profitability and sell them at attractive prices,” Andreas Wolf, an analyst at Warburg Research GmbH, said.

Aurelius buys companies struggling with succession or when they are in financial trouble, the analyst said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization doubled at Schabmueller since Aurelius bought the company to 8 million euros in 2011. Revenue increased to 61.3 million euros last year from about 40 million euros in 2007.

The company plans to use the cash from the sale to make more acquisitions, Markus said.

“The euro-crisis provides good opportunities, especially in southern Europe but also in northern Europe,” he said.

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