LBO France in exclusive for Matéris

Paris-based private equity house LBO France has beaten off competition from a number of US financial buyers for the private equity owned French building materials manufacturer.

The recent spate of activity in the European building materials market looks set to continue with reports that French private equity house LBO France has been named exclusive bidder for French building materials group Matéris.


In an auction coordinated by Rothschild, the investment bank, LBO France has beaten off competition from a group of rival private equity firms including Bain Capital, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Vestar Capital Partners, according to a report in Les Echos.


The French business daily also said the sale was likely to be completed at around six times EBITDA, giving the deal a total value of around E1.1bn.


LBO France was not available for comment.


Matéris is the former speciality business materials group of French industrial group Lafarge which was sold to a consortium of private equity firms in January 2001. At the time Advent International, Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners took a two-thirds stake in the business, paying a reported E890m, which included equity of less than E300m. Vendor Lafarge retained a 33 per cent stake.


Matéris employs 4,500 people and operates in 50 countries worldwide. The company generated sales of E1.16bn in 2002 through its businesses in admixtures, aluminates, mortars, paints and refractories.


The sale, which is expected to complete in the final quarter of the year, will provide CVC with its second European exit from the sector in 2003. Last week, the firm sold the distribution and building products operations of Cementbouw Handel & Industrie to Irish construction group CRH in a deal worth E646m.


July saw several private equity groups confirm their interest in the European construction industry. Last week, Italian firm BS Private Equity backed a rare Italian MBI in Pilosio, an Italian supplier of material to the construction industry. Carlyle also revealed that it was in exclusive negotiations to acquire Terreal, the French roof tiling business of Saint Gobain in a deal reportedly worth E500m.