Sun European Partners, LLP (“Sun European Partners” or “Sun European”), a leading private investment firm focused on defensible businesses in growing markets with tangible performance improvement opportunities, today announced that its affiliate has signed a definitive agreement to sell C&K (“the Company”), a manufacturer of high-quality electromechanical switches, to Littelfuse, Inc. (NASDAQ: LFUS), an industrial technology manufacturing company empowering a sustainable, connected, and safer world, for a total enterprise value of $540 million.
Founded in 1928, C&K has been at the forefront of technological evolution in electromechanical switches. The Company is a leading global provider of critical, highly engineered electromechanical switches and interface technology solutions for essential applications in industrial, transportation, aerospace, and datacom products, and other industries. The Company is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, with operations in France, Germany, India, Vietnam, and China.
Since acquisition in September 2017, C&K nearly doubled EBITDA and improved its EBITDA margin by over 400 basis points demonstrating the impact of Sun European’s value creation and operational initiatives. Together with the management team, C&K created a more agile sales function, developed new products by investing in new machinery, pursued strategic M&A, and focused on team excellence by establishing a culture of continuous improvement, by adding highly qualified individuals, specifically, a new CEO, bringing 25 years of relevant industry experience and strong support for our value creation plan.
C&K successfully completed two strategic add-on acquisitions during Sun European’s ownership. In 2018, C&K acquired Vuillermoz, a micro-mechanical components and tooling company, which helped eliminate a tool shop bottleneck the Company had been experiencing. Additionally, in 2021, C&K acquired EIS Electronics, a producer of cable and connector assemblies, increasing C&K’s exposure to the high value aerospace and defence sector.
Lars Brickenkamp, Chief Executive Officer of C&K, said: “Under Sun European’s stewardship we have achieved great success and are proud that C&K is now a clear industry leader in the design and manufacturing of micro-miniature tactile switches. Sun European’s operational and industry expertise, paired with C&K’s unerring dedication to complete customer satisfaction, enabled us to accelerate C&K’s growth. We are confident that C&K will continue to enjoy success under the ownership of Littelfuse.”
Mark Corbidge, Managing Director of Sun European Partners, LLP, added: “It was a pleasure working alongside C&K’s management team to accelerate growth and value creation at the Company. We were able to draw on our strong sector expertise to deliver operational improvements and growth initiatives. We look forward to watching their continued success in partnership with Littelfuse.”