H.I.G. Europe Completes Buy of Rio Tinto’s Specialty Alumina Unit

H.I.G. Europe has closed its buy of  the specialty alumina business of the Rio Tinto Group. Financial terms were not announced. The group, as of Aug. 1, has been renamed ALTEO. ALTEO produces and supplies specialty non-metallurgical grade alumina.


H.I.G. Europe (“H.I.G.”) today announced the closing of its acquisition of the Specialty Alumina business of listed global mining firm Rio Tinto Group. With effect from 1 August 2012, the new group will be renamed ALTEO.

With turnover of nearly €300 million, ALTEO is the leading global integrated producer and supplier of specialty non-metallurgical grade alumina. In recent years, ALTEO has faced a number of challenges and undergone significant transformations, particularly in terms of development of high value added products.

H.I.G. intends to use its resources to reinforce and accelerate, with the management team, the planned development of the business.

“The acquisition by H.I.G. fits perfectly within the framework of the growth project that we have initiated. We share with H.I.G. a common desire for sustainable and international development in order to consolidate our position as the global leader,” said Frédéric Ramé, General Manager of ALTEO.

“We are very proud to have carried out this significant transaction that falls within our strategy of supporting SMEs in their development. With its recognised industrial know-how, first-rate R&D capabilities and an unequalled range of products developed by a top-quality management team, ALTEO has all the necessary components to successfully execute its market penetration strategy,” commented Olivier Boyadjian, Managing Director of H.I.G. Capital in France.


ALTEO was previously the “Specialty Alumina” business of Rio Tinto Group. Today, it is the leading global integrated producer and supplier of specialty non-metallurgical grade alumina, with a turnover of nearly €300 million. ALTEO has 4 industrial sites: Gardanne, La Bâthie and Beyrède in France and Teutschenthal in Germany, as well as commercial sites in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and China. ALTEO is headquartered in France, at the Gardanne site.

About H.I.G. Capital and H.I.G. Europe

H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than €8.5 billion of equity capital under management and a team of more than 225 investment professionals. Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and San Francisco in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris and Rio de Janeiro.

H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed manufacturing or service businesses. H.I.G. also has extensive experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 80 companies with combined revenues in excess of €12 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.

H.I.G. Europe has a team of more than 40 investment professionals operating from its offices in Paris, London, Hamburg and Madrid. With 21 new investments completed since the beginning of 2011, H.I.G. is one of the most active private equity investors in Europe.

The H.I.G. Capital team

Olivier Boyadjian

Axel Bonnassies / Cédric Lépée

Antonin Marcus