Odyssey Buys Safway Group from ThyssenKrupp

Odyssey Investment Partners has acquired Safway Group from ThyssenKrupp AG, for an undisclosed amount. Safway is a provider of scaffolding services in the U.S. and Canada.


With economic effect as of September 30, 2009, ThyssenKrupp AG is selling the North American Safway Group to Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC (Odyssey), a US private equity firm. The sale and transfer agreement has now been signed by both parties. It has been agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

With over 90 locations in the most important US and Canadian markets, Safway currently has a workforce of around 5,000 and sales of more than $700 million (more than €500 million). The Group ranks among the biggest North American industrial services companies. Odyssey is acquiring both ThyssenKrupp Safway, Inc. in Waukesha/Wisconsin as well as its Canadian subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Safway, Inc. in Fort Saskatchewan/Alberta.

Specialized in the renting, erection and sale of scaffolding alongside the related engineering, training and safety services, Safway operates both in the commercial construction sector as well as acting as a services provider for large industrial companies and in the energy and industrial markets.

Says Douglas Rotatori, Managing Principal of Odyssey Investment Partners: “Odyssey has a long and successful history investing and growing businesses in the equipment rental and industrial services industries. Safway has posted outstanding financial performance under ThyssenKrupp’s ownership. The company is a leader in the scaffolding sector, with strong prospects, and acquiring this business presents an attractive opportunity to build on our record. We look forward to working with Safway’s management to enhance the company’s long-term value.”

Joachim Limberg, CEO of the Materials Services business area at ThyssenKrupp comments: “The new owner is very closely acquainted both with the business model and market environment of Safway. Odyssey attaches great importance to retaining the group in its entirety and further growing it in line with our management strategy. For us this is a true best-owner solution!”

With this divestment ThyssenKrupp is finalizing the restructuring of its industrial services operations within the Materials Services business area. At the start of October, the Group had already sold ThyssenKrupp Industrieservice GmbH with a full-time workforce of 9,000 to the facility management company WISAG. This means that together with Safway, a total of 14,000 employees are leaving ThyssenKrupp. In contrast, the process of selling the ThyssenKrupp Xervon Group has been brought to a stop since the divestment talks failed to produce a bidder with a coherent best-owner and financing plan that would adequately take into account the interests of employees and customers as well as the ThyssenKrupp Group as selling party.

The sale of the Safway Group is subject to approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities and supervisory bodies, as well as other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close within Q1 of fiscal 2009/2010.