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DEAL WITH LONE STAR FUND

Investcorp to sell Esmalglass for $692m

MANAMA, July 13, 2017

Bahrain-based Investcorp, a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products, today announced that it has agreed the sale of Spain-based Esmalglass to global private equity firm Lone Star Fund X for an enterprise value of €605 million ($692 million).

Established in 1978 in Villareal, Spain, Esmalglass is a leading producer of ceramic colours and glazes in the world with total sales of about €400 million in 2016.

Esmalglass supplies a wide range of high-value added, mission-critical intermediate products used in the manufacturing and decoration of ceramic tiles. Esmalglass' products are sold to 1,200 customers through its 21 sales offices worldwide supported by manufacturing and mixing plants in Spain, Brazil, Vietnam, Portugal, Italy, Russia, China, Indonesia, India and Mexico, as well as by large design and technical assistance teams in all the major ceramic markets across the world. The company employs around 1,400 people.

Investcorp acquired Esmalglass in July 2012 and has worked with the management team to solidify the company’s position across international markets and extend its product offering, establishing it as the leading business in the ceramic colours and glazes sector.

Under Investcorp’s ownership, EBITDA has doubled, with strong organic growth in the colour business complemented by the company’s acquisition of Fritta in 2015, which enabled Esmalglass to strengthen its position in the glazes market. Throughout this period, Esmalglass has also become a market leader in ceramic digital solutions – such as inkjet inks, digital effects and digital glazes – which have revolutionised the ceramic tile industry, the statement said.

Mohammed Al Ardhi, executive chairman of Investcorp, said: “In 2012, many investors shied away from Spain due to the perceived risk of an EU meltdown. Investcorp has been investing in Europe for over 35 years through a number of economic cycles, and our commitment to Esmalglass and Spain has today yielded an excellent return to our investors.”

Commenting on the sale, Fahad Murad, managing director at Investcorp for Bahrain, said: “Esmalglass is an extremely successful company which has performed even beyond our own expectations.  We acquired the business in a period of unprecedented macro-economic uncertainty but by identifying the growth potential in the then nascent ceramic digital products segment as well as in emerging markets, particularly in Asia, and through the successful add-on acquisition of Fritta, we have seen the business go from strength to strength. The extremely competent and dynamic management team under Antonio’s and Vincente’s leadership have played a critical role in making Esmalglass the business it is today and we wish them the very best for this new chapter.”

Dr Antonio Blasco and Dr Vicente Bagán, co-CEOs of Esmalglass, said: "We have greatly enjoyed our partnership with Investcorp and with their valuable investment experience and support, have increased our market share of the ceramic colours and glazes market worldwide, establishing ourselves as the number one player.  Their global perspectives have helped facilitate our expansion in our core geographies, the success of which is reflected in the continued strong performance of the business.  We remain committed as a management team to our ambitious growth strategy and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead with Lone Star."

Investcorp was advised on the transaction by Lazard with Jones Day acting as legal counsel. -TradeArabia News Service




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