AXA Private Equity To Sell Gerflor To Intermediate Capital Group

Intermediate Capital Group has agreed to buy Gerflor from AXA Private Equity. Financial terms were not announced. Gerflor’s management is also investing. Barclays Private Equity and NiXEN Partners, minority investors in Gerflor, are also selling their stake. Gerflor, of Villeurbanne, France, creates and makes  solutions for flooring and interior finishes.

PRESS RELEASE

Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) has agreed to acquire Gerflor, the international flooring specialist, from AXA Private Equity, with the support of Gerflor’s existing management team, headed by its CEO Bertrand Chammas. Other minority shareholders (including Barclays Private Equity and NiXEN Partners) will also sell their stake in the company. This follows a period of five years where AXA Private Equity has actively supported the Gerflor management to expand the business through bolt-on acquisitions and investment in organic growth.

Over the course of AXA Private Equity’s 5 year ownership, Gerflor has accelerated its diversification into new, high value-added areas and has broadened its geographical footprint. Gerflor increased its sales from €359 million in 2006 to €448 million in 2010, achieved through targeted acquisitions, significant reinforcement of its sales force and by investing close to €60 million in its industrial equipment.

François de Mitry and Benoît Durteste at ICG said: “Gerflor has achieved first-class performance over the past few years, under the leadership of Bertrand Chammas. For ICG, this transaction is the outcome of a long-standing relationship with Gerflor as we have been invested in the group since 1992. We look forward to supporting the management execute its development strategy, notably including further international expansion, both organically and through acquisitions”.

Dominique Gaillard, Member of AXA Private Equity’s Executive Board, said: “We have committed a lot of resources to Gerflor over a long investment period and have worked closely with Bertrand Chammas and his team to support the growth of the company. Now strengthened and more robust, Gerflor has proven very resilient through the economic crisis and the group has even increased its investments to secure its future growth. This is a great achievement for AXA Private Equity”.

Bertrand Chammas, CEO of Gerflor, said: “After five years with AXA Private Equity as a leading investor, Gerflor has been able to expand significantly worldwide. I am particularly happy to welcome ICG as our new reference shareholder. Their strong knowledge of our business, together with the innovative and flexible corporate financing structure put in place, will enable us to seize future growth opportunities”.

With a turnover of €448 million in 2010, Gerflor is a multi-specialist group that creates, manufactures and markets innovative, decorative and environmentally-responsible solutions for flooring and interior finishes. Its products are used in professional (healthcare, retail, sports, transport…) as well as residential applications. Gerflor’s strengths mainly stem from its dedicated sales force, its marketing & branding strategy and its proven innovation and industrial capabilities.

The acquisition is subject to customary anti-trust approvals and closing is anticipated by end of March 2011.
ABOUT ICG
Intermediate Capital Group specialises in structuring and providing mezzanine finance, leveraged credit and sponsorless equity solutions, with approximately €12 billion under management in proprietary capital and third party funds. A FTSE 250 investment firm and fund manager listed on the London Stock Exchange, ICG is one of the largest independent mezzanine providers in the world with investment portfolios in Europe, Asia Pacific and the US. Founded in 1989, ICG also has one of the longest track records of any institutional investor in European senior loans and high yield bonds. ICG’s experienced global investment team operate locally from its head office in London and offices in Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Sydney and New York. Further information is available at: www.icgplc.com.
ABOUT AXA PRIVATE EQUITY
AXA Private Equity is a leading private equity firm with US$25 billion in managed assets and a global reach extending across Europe, North America and Asia. The firm offers investors the full spectrum of private equity services for every market segment: direct funds, infrastructure financing, mid cap and small cap buyouts, venture capital, co-investments, fund of funds as well as mezzanine financing. With offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Singapore, Milan, Zurich and Vienna, AXA Private Equity supports the development and long-term growth of its portfolio companies with sustainable growth strategies and by granting them access to the AXA international network. AXA Private Equity has earned the trust of its investors by regularly supplying them with transparent performance data on its funds and portfolio companies.

AXA Private Equity, Global Investments the European way
www.axaprivateequity.com
ABOUT GERFLOR
Gerflor is a multi-specialist group that creates, manufactures and markets innovative, decorative and eco-responsible solutions for flooring and interior finishes. Gerflor combines specific know hows and gathers different well-recognized product brand names such as Mipolamâ, Taralayâ, Taraflexâ, Tarabusâ, Batiflexâ, Sensoâ, Caractereâ, Texlineâ… The group is headquartered in Villeurbanne (France) and employs around 2000 people across its 12 manufacturing plants and logistic hubs worldwide. Gerflor has sales in more than 100 countries and achieved a turnover of €448 million in 2010.
www.gerflor.com