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Advent Buys Stake in MAXAM from Vista, Portobello

Private equity firm Advent International has acquired a 49.998% stake in MAXAM from Vista Capital and Portobello Capital. The remaining 50.002% of the company is controlled by MAXAM’s management team. The deal value has not been released. MAXAM develops, manufactures and sells civil explosives and initiation systems for mining, quarries and infrastructure; cartridges, sports ammunition and gunpowder for sports use; and products for the defense industry.

Global private equity firm Advent International has today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire shares representing 49.998% of MAXAM’s share capital, from Vista Capital and Portobello Capital. The remaining 50.002% of the company’s share capital continues to be controlled by MAXAM’s management team, led by its Chairman&CEO, José F. Sánchez-Junco. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval as MAXAM operates in a regulated market. The deal value has not been disclosed.

MAXAM is the European leader and one of three global leaders in the civil explosives and initiation systems industry. The company is also active in the development, manufacturing and sale of mining services for mines, quarries and infrastructure around the globe; cartridges and gunpowder for sports ammunition; and products and services for the defence industry, in particular safe decommissioning of military explosives. The group comprises over 140 companies and has over 6,000 employees worldwide, with industrial facilities in more than 40 countries and sales in over 100 countries.

MAXAM’s origins date back to 1872, when Alfred Nobel founded Sociedad Española de Dinamita Privilegios A. Nobel in Bilbao. The business later merged with other leading Spanish explosives manufacturers to create Unión Española de Explosivos. Following several reorganisations and a rebranding, the company became MAXAM in 2006.

In 2010, MAXAM reported revenues of €888 million and EBITDA of €113 million. Between 2004 and 2010, the company recorded a compound annual growth rate of over 25%. In 2011, MAXAM will generate more than 60% of its revenues outside of Europe and North America.

Advent International will support the strategy developed by the MAXAM management team, as it pursues its national and international growth ambitions by expanding and strengthening its footprint in key markets, through both organic growth and selective acquisitions.

José F. Sánchez-Junco, Chairman&CEO of MAXAM, said:
“MAXAM enters this new stage with enthusiasm and with the support of Advent International as shareholders, which will open up new, significant opportunities to improve and consolidate its leadership positions in global markets.”

“During these times of economic uncertainty, we at MAXAM see a future of challenges but also one with many growth opportunities due to our broad geographical footprint, our complete line of products and services, which, when combined with our ongoing dedication to innovation and technology, will allow us to bring even more value to our customers.”

“MAXAM’s management team became shareholders in the company in 1994, and we have partnered with financial sponsors on four transactions involving changes to the company’s ownership structure. Their experience and support have been instrumental in MAXAM’s successful positioning in international markets.”

Juan Díaz-Laviada, Managing Director, Advent International in Spain, commented:

“We are delighted to have completed this investment, which makes us significant shareholders in MAXAM. We intend to help the management team to strengthen the company’s leadership position worldwide. We look forward to collaborating with MAXAM and its more than 6,000 employees in the 40 countries in which the company has operations.”

“Advent International has deep investment experience in the industrial and business services sectors which has played to our advantage in our assessment of MAXAM’s growth prospects. MAXAM’s leading position will allow the company to successfully address the challenges which may arise in the coming years and to continue investing in product innovation and improvements in customer service quality. We will put our resources and the experience of our international team at the disposal of MAXAM in order to accelerate growth and value creation for the company.”

Advent International has completed numerous investments in the mining and chemical services space (BoartLongyear and BOS Solutions) and in the chemical and industrial sector (Oxea, HC Starck, HT TroplastMoeller, Nukem, RWE Solutions and SAG).

Following Advent’s acquisition of Tinsa, MAXAM is the second transaction completed by the firm in Spain in the last twelve months.

Íñigo Sánchez Asiaín, partner at Portobello Capital, said:
“MAXAM has been a great investment for our fund. MAXAM’s success stems from its capacity for furthering its international expansion, which has placed the company among those who have successfully evolved from a local player to a global leader. We have supported a company with market-leading technology, as well as the management ambition and leadership skills to pursue its internationalisation. Once again, the capacity of Spanish companies to achieve leadership positions in global markets has been demonstrated.”

Carlos Rodríguez de Tembleque, Chairman of Vista Capital, said:
“MAXAM is a clear example of a well-managed company with a diversified business portfolio that can operate successfully even in periods of economic uncertainty. This transaction further illustrates Vista Capital’s strategy of investing in leading companies with growth potential, in order to create value through working in close cooperation with management teams.”


Advent International was advised by N+1 (exclusive financial advisor), Uría y Menéndez and Clifford Chance (legal), Garrigues (tax), KPMG (financial and tax due diligence), Aon Gil y Carvajal (insurance) and Boston Consulting Group (industry and market analysis).

About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the world’s leading global buyout firms, with offices in 17 countries on four continents. A driving force in international private equity for 27 years, Advent has built an unparalleled global platform of over 170 investment professionals across Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on international buyouts, strategic repositioning opportunities and growth buyouts in five core sectors, working actively with management teams to drive revenue growth and earnings improvements in portfolio companies. Since inception, Advent has raised €19.4 billion in private equity capital and, through its buyout programmes, has completed over 270 transactions valued at over €40 billion in 35 countries.

MAXAM is a leading industrial group that operates on a global scale, developing, manufacturing and selling civil explosives and initiation systems for mining, quarries and infrastructure; cartridges, sports ammunition and gunpowder for sports use; and products for the defence industry. The company supplies key raw materials for the nitro chemical activity, for MAXAM’s own internal needs and to third parties. MAXAM also offers its clients a series of solutions in the field of safety and environment, stemming from its technological developments in these areas.

MAXAM generates revenues of approximately €1 billion and is present in the main mining areas of the world. It is comprised of over 140 companies across the globe and has 6,000 employees worldwide, with industrial facilities in more than 40 countries and sales in over 100.

The range of services MAXAM offers in the markets in which it operates combines high tech products of superior quality and security and complete technical advice, always working towards the continuous improvement of the services provided to clients. MAXAM’s vast international presence, its focus on long-term sustainability, its commitment to research and corporate sponsorship, make MAXAM an active company, engaged with the progress and development of society and the environment that surrounds us.
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About Portobello Capital
A private equity fund manager founded by former executives of Ibersuizas, Portobello Capital currently manages two funds with a combined value of €500 million. Its diversified company portfolio comprises of 13 businesses, including Angulas Aguinaga (the manufacturer of well-known brands such as La Gula del Norte and Krissia), Hofmann (digital photo albums), Multiasistencia (home insurance management), Mediterránea de Catering (catering services for hospitals and schools), Indas (healthcare products), Ice Cream Factory Comaker (manufacturer of private label ice creams for large retailers) and CIE Automotive (provider of auto components).

About Vista Capital
Founded in 1989, Vista Capital is a pioneer in the Spanish private equity industry that stands out for its active involvement in the management of its portfolio companies. Linked to Banco Santander (it manages the institution’s PE funds), Vista Capital has completed landmark private equity transactions in Spain over the last 20 years, including Superdiplo, Itelevesa, Parques Reunidos and Miquel i Costas. The firm currently owns an interest in Orizonia, one of the most important players in the Spanish travel industry, and owns a majority stake in Laboratorios Indas, a Spanish leader in the manufacturing of healthcare products for incontinence.