World leading French industrial minerals group
Imerys SA has bought Greece-based bentonite producer, S&B,
for a maximum purchase price of €558m ($697.5m*).
Imerys said the deal represented a "strategic
combination for the integration of the main activities of
S&B," which will allow it to "accelerate its development by
enlarging its specialities offer".
Euronext-listed Imerys earlier this year lost out
on a bidding war to acquire US bentonite producer, AMCOL, to
rival Minerals Technologies Inc., but would not be drawn on
whether it viewed the S&B purchase as an alternative route
to expand into the bentonite market.
"S&B has a portfolio that will strengthen
Imerys and will accelerate innovation initiatives
in several markets," an Imerys spokesperson told
They added that the Imerys-S&B combination
"will produce numerous synergies".
"[These] will come from the complementarity of
activities: enlargement of the global offering - four divisions
with minerals, solutions and specialities new to Imerys - and
leveraging geographies," the spokesperson said.
Imerys’ CEO, Gilles Michel, stressed
that the deal represented another step forward in the
company’s strategy to develop in new speciality
"By welcoming S&B’s teams,
sharing with us similar culture and values, we will strengthen
together our global positions in the mineral-based speciality
solutions for industry," he said.
Ulysses Kyriacopoulos, chairman of S&B, added
that "by combining our operations with the world leader in
industrial minerals, S&B takes a decisive step in its
global growth strategy".
S&B, which is jointly held by the
Kyriacopoulos family (61%) and the New York-based private
equity firm, Rhone Capital (39%), has a presence in 22
countries in Europe, North America and Asia, in what Imerys
described to IM as "very complementary
positioning" to the Paris-headquartered miner’s
As well as bentonite for foundry applications,
sealing solutions and drilling mud additives, S&B also
produces wollastonite for functional additives in polymers and
paints, perlite for construction and horticultural markets and
continuous casting fluxes for the steel industry.
The €558m purchase price Imerys has agreed
to pay for S&B is based on a €525m equity value for
100% of the shares in the Greek company, plus up to €33m
based on performance. Of this, €311m will be paid in cash
and the balance of €214m will be paid in shares.
S&B’s debt is assumed at €235m,
calculated as of 30 June 2014.
The deal remains subject to regulatory approval,
but Imerys’ spokesperson confirmed to
IM that the company expects the deal be
concluded during the first quarter of 2015.
On completion of the transaction, Ulysses
Kyriacopoulos will join Imerys board of directors.