Sale of AFG kitchens business to leading German kitchen manufacturer Alno

AFG to concentrate on core business of building envelope and interiors – Piatti and Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made brands to be retained and benefit from a strong partner

Arbon, 17 January 2014 – AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG is selling its kitchens business, which includes Swiss market leaders Piatti and Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made, to the German manufacturer Alno. The listed company from Pfullendorf in the Lake Constance region is a leading German kitchen manufacturer. The two kitchen brands Piatti and Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made are to be further developed and expanded. For AFG the sale marks a significant step in its strategy of focusing on its core business of building envelope and interiors.

The sale of the AFG kitchens business to Alno AG will ensure a secure future for the two kitchen brands Piatti and Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made. With its own Alno, Wellmann, Impuls and Pino brands, the new owner has excellent knowledge of the European kitchens market. The Alno Group employs 1,800 staff and is represented in 64 countries through production plants, subsidiaries, joint ventures and distribution companies.

The Alno AG intends to further expand Piatti's position as the leading Swiss kitchen brand and to supplement its product range. Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made will be able to undergo rapid internationalisation thanks to Alno's distribution network. The Alno AG itself will benefit from two strong Swiss brands and the distribution network in Switzerland with its strong dealer base.

The two kitchen brands will continue unchanged and will operate as independent organisations under the new owner. The employment relationships of the 500 or so employees of AFG Küchen AG will be transferred.

This transaction will enable the present owner AFG to provide a secure future for its kitchens business. At the same time it is also a final step in the move towards focusing on the core business of building envelope and interiors and hence on the Building Envelope, Building Technology and Building Security divisions.

CEO Daniel Frutig considers the sale to be the "best solution for Piatti and Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made. They will be given the opportunity to grow and strengthen their market position under the umbrella of a large international kitchen manufacturer." Furthermore, the sale will put an end to the uncertainty among the employees and create new opportunities for the strong dealer network of AFG Küchen AG. "The sale will have a positive impact on the financial targets set by AFG," continues Daniel Frutig.

"We are pleased that the Piatti and Forster Steel Kitchen Swiss Made brands are to become part of the Alno family. In return, we will act as a strong strategic partner for the two brands. Our goal is to strengthen their growth, branch out into new market segments and expand the export business in steel kitchens," says Max Müller, CEO of the Alno AG.

Alno expects the acquisition to generate synergy potential running into tens of millions. The efficiency enhancement programme launched by AFG Küchen AG is to be continued. The two companies will also derive benefits from joint purchasing. 

The contracting parties have agreed not to disclose the planned purchase price.

Daniel Frutig
T +41 71 447 45 50

Stefan Kern
Head Corporate Communications
T +41 71 447 45 64