Provider of residential and technical lighting products
May 2011
Jan 2017

SLV is an innovative provider of residential and technical lighting products for indoor and outdoor use. Founded in 1979 and based in Übach-Palenberg, Germany, SLV is one of the fastest-growing and most successful providers of lighting products in Europe. It has consistently outperformed the market in the last several years and has increased its market share in Germany and internationally. SLV operates subsidiaries and associated companies in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Hong Kong, the US and Russia.

SLV sources its products mostly from Asia and distributes them through a wide range of multipliers, wholesalers, electricians, specialised retail partners, internet shops and other resellers in 60 countries, while managing product development, marketing and order fulfilment in-house. This business model combines German innovation and European design with cost-efficient production and distribution, enabling SLV to offer innovative, well-designed products at attractive prices.

Cinven identified SLV as an attractive investment based on its value-for-money proposition, differentiated business model, international growth potential and high cash conversion. The business model is based on four closely-integrated elements: (i) fast-track product development and rigid product selection; (ii) lean manufacturing; (iii) superior logistics and services; and (iv) cost-effective B2B product distribution. This approach has been developed and perfected by SLV over many years and has proved itself in Germany, France, Belgium and other European markets.

Ahead of the acquisition, Cinven developed a close relationship with SLV's leadership team through our Frankfurt office, leading to 'preferred buyer' status. Our experience with asset light business models, our European presence and the involvement of our Portfolio team in Asia gave Cinven an important competitive advantage. Cinven's strategy for SLV draws on the firm's core skills and track record - including the assistance we provide to successful companies to help them grow further in their home market-place and in Europe; and the support we offer through our Portfolio team to help them optimise the benefits of Asian sourcing.

Since our acquisition SLV has performed well, as its value-for-money proposition continued to resonate with customers seeking modern, energy-efficient lightning solutions. Internationalisation remains a key priority for the business, enabling SLV to capitalise on new and underpenetrated markets throughout Europe.

In January 2017, Cinven sold SLV to Ardian for an undisclosed consideration.