Global investment firm Carlyle buys ETH Zurich spinoff Autoform for $2 billion

Carlye acquires AutoForm AG, the global leader in engineering software for sheet metal forming simulation, primarily used in the automotive industry, from global private equity firm Astorg. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal the transaction was priced at $2 billion.

Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Pfäffikon (SZ), Switzerland, AutoForm provides software solutions for sheet metal forming simulation and assembly simulation, mainly for the automotive industry. With its innovations for rapid and reliable validation of the design, engineering, manufacturing, and assembly processes, AutoForm is setting the standards in end-to-end software solutions for the automotive industry. Its blue-chip customer base includes the leading automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) and suppliers. The company employs approximately 400 people – of which 140 in R&D - and is present in more than 50 countries, across EMEA, Asia and the Americas.

Under Astorg’s ownership, the company has transitioned from a founder-led organization to an institutionalized company, with an enlarged focus now covering all critical steps from design to assembly of an automobile’s body frame.

Leveraging its significant experience in scaling technology companies and investing in assets that cater to the automotive industry, Carlyle will support AutoForm in accelerating its growth plan through the development of its existing software platform and through acquisitions, as well as investing in the company’s innovative product suite and commercial operations.

Details of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, are not being disclosed. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Autoform was valued at €1.75 billion. When Astorg acquired the company in 2016, the transaction was reportedly priced at €640 million.

Waldemar Kubli, Founder of AutoForm, said: “Carlyle will be a great partner to support AutoForm in the next phase of its development. I am thankful for the support provided by Astorg and for the role they played in organizing the management transition I wanted for the business and for which I chose them 5 years ago.”

(Press release / SK)