Investindustrial re-acquires chemicals firm

The Southern European mid-market investor has acquired its former portfolio company Italmatch Chemicals, having previously realised a 3.3x return and 84 percent IRR from the company.

Southern European mid-market buyout firm Investindustrial has invested €15 million ($18.7 million) for a 90 percent equity stake in Italmatch Chemicals, an Italian phosphorous derivatives manufacturer.

The firm has acquired the stake in a secondary buyout from European private equity firm Argos Soditic and Italian investment firm Iniziativa Piemonte, with management taking up the remaining ten percent stake.

Investindustrial originally sold the company to Argos Soditic and Iniziativa Piemonte in November 1999, having acquired a 50 percent shareholding in 1997. Following a reorganisation, including establishing a Chinese joint venture in 1998, Investindustrial sold its entire interest in Italmatch, realising a 3.3x return on investment and an IRR of 84 percent.

Italmatch has subsequently expanded its operations in China and the company now has 55 employees there as well as 67 in Italy. In 2003, the company had sales of €24 million and EBITDA margins in excess of 20 percent. According to Investindustrial chairman Andrea Bonomi the investment: 'represents an opportunity for Investindustrial to complete the industrial plan formulated back in 1997.'

The investment was made from Investindustrial’s €323 million Investindustrial LP fund, which is co-sponsored by the Bonomi family and 21 Investimenti. According to  Bonomi, the fund is now approximately 55 percent invested.

The fund has made nine transactions to date and hopes to execute a further “two or three” by the end of the year, according to Bonomi.

Founded in 1990, the firm is headed by Bonomi and has offices in Milan, Madrid, London and Jersey.

Earlier this year, it hired former Citigroup and Morgan Grenfell Private Equity professional Dante Razzano as a principal in its Milan office.