Vestar buys European flooring JV

The European arm of Vestar Capital Partners has acquired a wood flooring joint venture from Nordic Capital and a Swiss forest products company.

Global mid-market buyout firm Vestar Capital Partners has acquired Swiss wood flooring company Nybron Flooring International from Nordic Capital and trade owner HIAG.

No price was officially disclosed for the transaction and Vestar declined to comment, but a source close to the deal suggested the firm paid in excess of €300 million ($350 million) for Nybron.

One of the things that attracted Vestar was the terrific growth opportunity for the company, not only in Western Europe where it is the clear market leader, but also in the US.

Robert Rosner, president, Vestar Capital Partners Europe

Robert Rosner, Paris–based president of Vestar Capital Partners Europe, indicated that the transaction would “likely” be made from Vestar’s fourth fund – which he told PEO in early November was nearly fully invested – and its upcoming fifth fund, Vestar Capital Partners V: a final closing for which is yet to be officially announced.

Media reports earlier in the year said Vestar beat off competition from The Carlyle Group and Allianz Private Equity Partners of Germany in an auction run by Credit Suisse First Boston.

“One of the things that attracted Vestar was the terrific growth opportunity for the company, not only in Western Europe where it is the clear market leader, but also in the US where it has doubled its sales to over $50 million and foresees the opportunity to more than double that again in the coming years,” Rosner told PEO.

Rosner added that the company would be pursuing growth both through organic expansion of product lines and new markets, as well as “actively looking at acquisition candidates when appropriate”.

Rosner: actively looking at acquisitions for Nybron

Based in Jona, Switzerland, Nybron Flooring International produces wood flooring and pre-finished engineered wood flooring products. The business is comprised of Bauwerk of Swtizerland, Kährs of Sweden and Marty of France, and was created by Swiss forest products manufacturer HIAG and Nordic Capital in 2000 through the acquisition and merger of the three firms.

Nybron currently has 11 production facilities in Switzerland, Austria, France, Sweden and Norway and sells its products in over 40 countries. The company generates annual revenues of over €400 million and has over 2,600 employees worldwide.