Skip to main content

Supporting growth of Poland’s largest manufacturer of prefabricated houses

PE/VC investor
Enterprise Investors
Investment period



(in Millions)



total gross return multiple of cost


Sales growth


EBITDA growth

Danwood was the largest Polish manufacturer of timber-frame, prefabricated houses. Their houses were sold primarily in Germany.

Enterprise Investor's decision to invest was supported by a positive assessment of the market and the company's growth potential. Timber-frame house construction proved more environmentally friendly, energy efficient and faster to build than traditional technologies, particularly in the case of prefabricated houses. Danwood showed strong topline growth and improving profitability thanks to the cost advantages of its Polish production plant. It sold quality products under its brand and controlled key steps in the value chain, from concept, design and online marketing through the exclusive sales network and production of prefabricated elements to the house finishing stage. EI-managed PEF VII bought out a 100% stake in Danwood from the construction group Budimex, which was disposing of the company as a non-core asset. The purchase price was financed with EUR 26 million of fund equity, transaction debt and excess cash paid out from the company. The overall value of the investments in capacity expansion and production technology advancements exceeded EUR 27 million.

EI and the company's management developed and implemented a business growth plan that assumed continued penetration of its core market and expansion into new geographies. The company strengthened its presence in Switzerland, Austria and the UK by building on the successful offering and sales model proven in Germany.

Danwood developed new product lines to broaden its market appeal, complementing its mid-market offering. An attractively priced "Family" line of houses gained popularity among younger families and other first-time house buyers. The premium "Vision" line, which included larger houses with superior furnishings, allowed for penetration of the upper market segments historically dominated by built-to-order rather than prefabricated houses. The company's offering at the exit included c. 200 turn-key house designs.

New online house configurators were introduced, that allowed the end customers to modify the available designs. Customers were offered a VR immersion experience in the form of a virtual "walk" through a chosen house.

In January 2020 EI signed an agreement to sell Danwood to GS Engineering and Construction – one of the largest construction conglomerates in South Korea. The investment yielded a 9x total gross multiple of cost.

Main objectives
of funding

  • To support the dynamic growth of contracting via the abolition of the investment expenditure constraints imposed by the previous owner
  • To develop a new production facility with machinery in 2013 and 2016 to commission and construct a new production plant. Completing this project enlarged the overall manufacturing capacity from 650 houses before our investment to 1,250 in 2017.
  • To increase the scope of prefabrication with further investments, reducing the required manual labour on site. Consequently, at the end of 2019, manufacturing capacity reached 2,000 houses per annum.

What changed in the company after PE/VC investment

  • Developing and implementing a growth plan that assumed continued penetration of the core German market and expansion into new geographies. The company strengthened its presence in Switzerland, Austria and Poland. Danwood also established a foothold on the British market by introducing a dedicated product portfolio.
  • Developing new product lines, broadening its appeal among young families and in the upper market segment, which was historically dominated by built-to-order houses. The company employed industry-leading sales-support technologies, including online house configurators and a VR immersion experience.
  • Eliminating Danwood's investment expenditure constraints. The company continued to upgrade the machinery used in the facility and constructed a new production plant in 2016. Further investment increased the scope of prefabrication. At the end of 2019, manufacturing capacity had more than tripled since EI's acquisition.
  • Strengthening Danwood's supervisory board, retaining a former CEO of Elektrobudowa (construction company, prior EI investment) and a long-time CEO of Zelmer (one of EI's most successful investments).

ESG related initiatives and accomplishments

Propagation of energy-saving residential housing technologies:
  • Implemented photovoltaic systems, heat recuperation, and effective insulation in residential housing.
Reduction of climate footprint:
  • Invested in recycling production waste as a heat source to reduce the climate footprint.
  • Implemented measures to slash emissions of climate-affecting gases.
  • Switched to electric machinery, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Employment and safety standards:
  • Became a leading employer in an underdeveloped region of Poland.
  • Headcount grew to over 2,000 employees in 2019, compared to 730 before EI's investment.
  • Salaries were approximately 140% higher than the average earnings in the sector in the region.
  • Implemented measures to reduce noise levels and minimize the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals

Together we have built a company that has not only outgrown the market but has also developed capacities and operational excellence that will fuel its future growth.

Sebastian Król

EI Partner