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60 INDUSTRY PERUSA PARTNERS TAKES OVER SENATOR IS SOLD The Merz Group has sold its writing instrument subsidiary Senator to the Munich-based capital investment company Perusa Partners. Merz itself wants to focus on the global business sectors pharmaceuticals and aesthetics in future. For more than 90 years Merz has kept the flag of the writing instruments supplier Senator flying in the unusual combination with pharmaceuticals. This has now ceased. The new partners have given a contractual assurance that the Groß-Bieberau site is not affected by this development. A LOGICAL STEP The promotional products industry is also affected because part of Senator has been traditionally devoted to the advertising sector. Industry insiders had long suspected that something was going on at Merz because the writing instruments sector was not stable in terms of personnel management and nor were sales revenues. Nevertheless Senator generated a turnover of almost 50 million euros with around 350 employees. Michael Nick, one of the partners of Merz and chairman of the su- pervisory board of Senator, said about the Perusa deal: “We are convinced that the sale to Perusa is the right move for the long-term development of Senator.” In the Merz Group itself, Senator played an increasingly less significant role with just 5 per cent of turnover. The initial reactions from the industry are therefore that the step which has now been taken is ultimately a logical one. TURNAROUND SUCCESSFULLY INITIATED Perusa GmbH, the new owner of Senator, was founded in 2007. Perusa’s partners mostly invest their own money in addition to institutional funds, as is also the case with Senator. Daniel Jeschonowski, who in addition to Dr. Ulf Osmers is the new managing director in Groß-Bieberau, is also likely to have a personal stake. The fund PSI Journal 8-9/2016 Groß Bieberau. which Senator was incorporated into at Perusa runs until 2026. This shows that the Munich-based company is systematically continuing and expanding its policy. Longterm investments are the core of the company. An exemplary commitment is the majority stake of Perusa in the motorcycle helmet manufacturer Schuberth in 2013. The company had been intercepted during its decline, increasing turnover from 60 to 75 million euros and increasing the number of employees to 400 today. Schuberth is again performing brilliantly in 2016. Hence the prospects for Senator are good. Nevertheless the greatest achievement in the first 100 days should be to steer the company into calmer waters. Until the end of 2015, there had been too much experimenting in terms of personnel, and as for the product range decisions occasionally led to a dead end. It must be said, however, that Senator was already well on its way out of the crisis in the first half of 2016. The turnaround has been successfully initiated. On the way up, it is at most the competition that is standing in its way. During its long history, however, Senator has always managed to deal with this situation and secure a place at the forefront. At the PSI in January 2017, it will be possible to get to know the “new” Senator GmbH at close hand. <

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