The acquisition is expected to improve Ferro’s position in tile coatings, expands their presence in important growth markets and provide added capacity for high-end frits and digital inks.
Ferro Corporation (NYSE: FOE), a pioneer in numerous technologies in the ceramics, electronics, glass and pigments markets, announced that it has signed an agreement with Milan, Italy-based Private Equity Funds’ Management Company Star Capital SGR S.p.A. and two minority owners and founders, Gianfranco Padovani and Sergio Zannoni, to acquire Casola Valsenio, Italy-based Vetriceramici S.p.A. for 83 million EUR (approximately 108 million USD) in cash. The transaction will be funded with excess cash and a draw on the company’s existing revolving credit facility and is expected to close by December 1, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.
Commenting on the proposed transaction, Peter Thomas, Chairman, President and CEO of Ferro Corporation said, “Vetriceramici is an excellent strategic fit with our existing tile coatings business and our performance colors and glass business. The acquisition demonstrates our commitment to transforming Ferro into a more focused functional coatings and color solutions company. Vetriceramici improves our product portfolio by adding higher-value product offerings, enhances our technical capabilities with state-of-the-art design and product development facilities, and accelerates our geographic expansion into important growth markets, including the United States, where we do not have a ceramic coatings presence, as well as Turkey and Poland.”
Vetriceramici/Vetriglass is a leading supplier of ceramic coatings to high-end tile manufacturers. Vetriceramici had July 2014 trailing twelve month sales of approximately 53 million EUR, and over the last three fiscal years achieved compounded annual sales growth of 9.3 percent. Vetriceramici operates manufacturing facilities in Italy and Mexico, a mixing plant in Poland and research and development and sales offices in Italy and Turkey. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Ferro’s adjusted diluted earnings per share by 0.12 USD to 0.14 USD in 2015. Based on estimated July 2014 trailing twelve month EBITDA and expected synergies, the acquisition purchase price represents a transaction multiple of 4.9 times.
Vetriceramici is also a global supplier of specialty products that enhance the appearance and improve the durability of high-end ceramic tile. Its product line includes high-value, specialty frits and grits (finely-milled frits), glazes, digital inks, and other specialized tile coatings. Additionally, Vetriceramici has developed high-value forehearth color solutions that deliver greater production flexibility, lower manufacturing costs and improved inventory management to customers.