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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Bahrain-based Investcorp says it sells ceramic color maker Esmalglass

Esmalglass sold to Lone Star Fund X for 605 million euros

Mohammed Alardhi, Investcorp’s chairman, said Hazem Ben-Gacem will become co-CEO after Mr Al Shroogi steps down. Phil Weymouth / The National
Mohammed Alardhi, Investcorp’s chairman, said Hazem Ben-Gacem will become co-CEO after Mr Al Shroogi steps down. Phil Weymouth / The National

Investcorp, an Bahrain-listed alternative investment firm, said on Thursday that it has agreed to sell Esmalglass, a Spanish producer of ceramic colours and glazes, to US private equity firm Lone Star Fund X for an enterprise value of €605 million euros.

Investcorp said it acquired the Villareal-based company for an undisclosed sum in July 2012. The company, which also sells intermediate products used in the manufacturing and decoration of ceramic tiles, had sales of €400m last year.

“In 2012, many investors shied away from Spain due to the perceived risk of an EU meltdown," said Mohammed Al Ardhi, Executive Chairman of Investcorp.

"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.”

Under Investcorp, Esmalglass doubled its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and oversaw its growth in the color business and its acquisition of Fritta in 2015 which strengthened its position in the glazes market.

Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi's $125 billion investment firm, is the largest shareholder in Investcorp, holding a 20 per cent stake.

"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," Antonio Blasco, a co-chief executive of Esmalglass.

"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."

Mkassem@thenational.ae