Ambienta sells SF Filter Group

Asset manager Ambienta SGR SpA has sold its portfolio company SF Filter Group to funds advised by Equistone Partners Europe.

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Headquartered in Bachenbülach, Switzerland, SF Filter is a distributor of mobile and industrial filters. The company operates sales and logistics centres in Germany, Austria, France and Poland, and a number of export markets. SF Filter supplies over 27,000 customers in many European countries with oil, air and fuel filters as well as filters for liquids, hydraulic and pneumatic applications, dust extraction and air conditioners. The product range comprises more than 140,000 filter types, 40,000 of which are always on stock deliverable at all times.

Ambienta acquired a majority stake in the filter distributor in 2016. Under Ambienta’s ownership, SF Filter has been transformed from an owner-operated business into a management-run enterprise with an experienced management team and a modern cross-national matrix organisation. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system has been rolled out to cover all enterprise functions and countries; an online shop has been launched; the supply chain has been reshaped and optimised by reducing the number of local warehouses while at the same time increasing customer service levels; and a robust ESG agenda has been pursued.

“SF Filter is a prime example of Ambienta’s investment philosophy,” said Stefano Bacci, partner of Ambienta. “An initial primary buyout of a business with a very strong environmental proposition, which is at the origin of growth and stability. Ambienta has transformed the business with relentless and in depth action on organisation and operations, eventually delivering more growth and more profitability.”

Daniel Infanger, CEO of SF Filter Group, said: “We wish to thank Ambienta for the strong support it has given us throughout the strategic realignment of our company over the last few years. Together we have adopted a whole bundle of measures that have enabled SF Filter Group to further consolidate its leading position in Europe, enhance its efficiency and customer focus, and add sustainable value. The company is now stronger than ever before and is exceptionally well placed for the next steps along its growth trajectory with its new partner Equistone.”

In 2021 alone, SF Filter’s products purified 2,169 cubic kms of air, which equates to a column of air 37 kms in height covering the whole of Manhattan. Its filters also cleaned 5,292 million cubic metres of water, equivalent to the annual water consumption of around 29 million households.