Investors make 10x on Almatis

Investcorp, a global investment group, has agreed to buy Germany based Almatis Group, a specialty alumina materials producer, from transatlantic buyout firm Rhone Capital and the private equity arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund.

Although deal terms were not released, Investcorp has reportedly paid US$900m for Almatis just 18 months after the company completed its leveraged buyout, when it was called Alcoa Specialty Chemicals, for US$342m.

UBS was sole financial adviser on the exit, having also advised on the February 2004 LBO from Alcoa, which founded the division in 1910.

Since being taken out by Rhone and Ontario Teachers, the private equity firms have also completed a US$150m refinancing that repaid their US$70m of equity and the US$33.5m of mezzanine finance. On this basis, the two firms have made about 10x their money.

Almatis products are used in the global high-grade steel production, glass manufacturing, high-end ceramics, and electronics industrial manufacturing processes to produce materials and solutions, such as refractories, that protect industrial process equipment from the damaging effects of heat, wear, chemical attack, impact and erosion, and provide thermal insulation.

Almatis has its 11 operating facilities in six countries, primarily in the Netherlands, Germany, the US and China and its specialty chemicals business has annual revenues of about US$360m, according to figures released last year.

In Europe, Investcorp in April bought Netherlands-based promotional products company Polyconcept from UK-based buyout firm BC Partners, and in a buy-and-build strategy added US-based Global Promo Group, the parent company of US promotional products giant Leed’s, and Hong Kong-based Marlow International, in June to form a group with annual sales of about US$650m.

In December, Investcorp sold its stake in German packaging company Gerresheimer Glas to US buyout firm Blackstone Group.