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Cross acquires majority holding in Bühler Thermal Processes AG.

Uzwil/Zurich, 06/06/2013 – Having hived off the Thermal Processes business unit into a separate company last October, Bühler has now sold the majority to the Swiss private equity firm Cross. Contracts to that effect were signed on June 4, 2013. The transaction is subject to the approval of – among others – the competition authorities. The new majority shareholder is taking over Bühler Thermal Processes with its management team and all its employees at its present location in Oberbüren while adding experienced industry experts to its Board of Directors. Bühler retains its link with the company through a substantial minority holding. As opposed to the rest of the Bühler Advanced Materials division, Bühler Thermal Processes AG (BPAG) focuses on multifunctional large-scale plants. Bühler has come to the conclusion that BPAG can realize its growth potential even better as a stand-alone enterprise. Cross will contribute its industrial know-how and international contacts in supporting the company's long-term development.

Dr Michael Petersen, managing partner of Cross Equity Partners AG: "BPAG is a Swiss global market leader in a growing niche market with clear USPs that set it apart from others and outstanding engineering expertise. We look forward to supporting the company in its sustainable growth."

Success in fast-growing markets
BPAG is the world leader in post-condensation technology for PET, mainly used in food packaging and technical yarn. It designs and manufactures plant and equipment for the heat treatment of a variety of polymers, which are mainly used for the processing of PET. BPAG's product range also includes plants for recycling used PET into materials for direct food contact. It employs around 80 staff and achieved revenues of CHF 88 million in 2012. The prospect of long-term rising demand for PET offers attractive growth potential of 7% p.a. over the years ahead.

Buyer has many years of industrial experience and a record of success
The new majority shareholder in BPAG is the Swiss private equity firm Cross. Cross has the mission to support the sustainable development of mid-sized companies in Switzerland, Germany and Austria through equity capital, industrial expertise and an extensive relationship network. As a long-term investor, Cross supports sustainable profitable growth. Its current portfolio includes investments in Spirella, Europe’s leading provider of lifestyle products for private bathrooms, and Micromacinazione, Europe's leading provider of micronization technologies and services for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industry.

Markus Reich, managing partner of Cross Equity Partners AG: "By acquiring a majority stake in Bühler Thermal Processes, a highly innovative global leader, Cross is reaffirming its commitment to the Swiss small and medium-sized business sector. We are committed to our base in Switzerland and plan to develop the company further.”

New board members with outstanding industrial expertise
Cross will strengthen BPAG's Board of Directors by adding new members with proven industry track records. Cross and Bühler are in no doubt that the new Board will, by its in-depth industry experience, make a decisive contribution to the company's strategic management.

New indications of greater strategic flexibility
Bühler is convinced that BPAG can realize its long-term growth potential ideally with a focused corporate structure outside the Group. The repositioning should make it possible for more plant engineering projects to be completed in the polymer industry with a free choice of partners, reinforcing the company's excellent reputation in the market. Staff at the present location will remain in their jobs. The purchase price remains confidential. Over the coming years, Bühler will maintain its link with BPAG not only through a substantial minority stake, but also by Bühler Group CFO Andreas Herzog sitting on BPAG's Board of Directors.

Bühler CFO Andreas Herzog: "With Cross as the new majority shareholder which brings considerable industry knowledge, Bühler Thermal Processes can realize the given growth potential even better in the future. I look forward to working together with Cross in the Board of Directors."

About Bühler Thermal Processes AG
BPAG is the world leader in post-condensation technology for PET, mainly used in food packaging and technical yarns. It designs and manufactures plant and equipment for the heat treatment of a variety of polymers, comprising the steps warming, drying, conditioning, crystallization, polycondensation and cooling. The systems are mainly used for the processing of PET. BPAG's product range also includes plants for recycling used PET into materials for direct food contact. BPAG employs around 80 staff and achieved revenues of CHF 88 million in 2012.

About Bühler
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for producing foods and manufacturing advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of over 10,000. In fiscal 2012, Bühler Group generated sales (turnover) of CHF 2.4 billion.

About Cross
Cross is a Swiss private equity firm with the mission to support the sustainable development of small and mid-sized companies in Switzerland, Germany and Austria through equity, industrial expertise and an extensive relationship network – amongst others in the context of succession of family-owned businesses and corporate spin-offs. Cross invests in leading and profitable mid-sized companies with an entrepreneurial management in fast-growing industries such as engineering, machinery, industrial products and services. As a long-term investor, Cross supports sustainable profitable growth.

The independent Cross Fund is exclusively advised by Cross Equity Partners AG, Zurich. The Cross team has several decades of private equity and industrial experience. To date, the Cross team has successfully invested in approximately 25 companies in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Its current portfolio includes investments in Spirella, Europe’s leading provider of lifestyle products for private bathrooms, and Micromacinazione, Europe's leading provider of micronization technologies and services for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industry.

For further information, contact:

Bühler AG:
Corina Atzli, Head Corporate Communications,
Phone +41 71 955 33 99, E-mail media@buhlergroup.com

Cross Equity Partners AG:
Dr Michael Petersen or Markus Reich, Managing Partners
Phone +41 44 269 93 93, E-mail m.petersen@crossequity.ch, m.reich@crossequity.ch

For media enquiries: Korfmann Corporate Communications Consulting AG
Dr Sabina R. Korfmann-Bodenmann
Phone +41 43 244 87 37, E-mail s.korfmann@kccc.ch

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