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Soleras and Bekaert Advanced Coatings combine to create global leader in thin film coatings

Bekaert and Soleras have been acquired by Element Partners, a leading growth equity firm investing in high-growth companies, to provide key equipment and consumable advanced material targets to many industrial segments.

Element Partners has announced that agreements have been signed for the acquisition of the Industrial Coatings Division of Bekaert, including its facilities in Deinze, Belgium, Jiangyin, China and Spring Green, Wisconsin, US, and the acquisition of privately held Soleras Ltd., located in Biddeford, Maine, US. The two companies will be combined to form a new business, named Soleras Advanced Coatings LLC. The agreements are subject to regulatory approvals, which are expected by April 2012.
The two companies have complementary manufacturing technologies used to produce advanced, rotatable and planar targets for use in various large area coating applications. Soleras Ltd has a long history of developing new target fabrication techniques including cast technology for production of rotatable targets. The Industrial Coatings Division, which operates under the trade name Bekaert Advanced Coatings (BAC) is a high volume, high quality producer of rotatable targets using internally developed thermal spray technology.
Additionally, BAC is the leading developer and supplier of rotatable hardware required for the application of advanced large area coatings. Soleras Advanced Coatings will provide key equipment and consumable advanced material targets to many industrial segments, including the manufacture of energy efficient, low-E glass, electrochromic and ‘smart’ glass, thin film photovoltaic panels and advanced displays used in touch screen phones and tablet computers.
Sujit Banerjee, Managing Director at Element Partners commented on the acquisitions, “We are combining two world class companies with a range of complementary technologies to create the world’s leading manufacturer of rotatable targets and equipment. We are excited about the synergies of Soleras
and Bekaert Advanced Coatings. We believe the combination of knowledge and technological expertise will improve the way we serve our customers.”
Soleras Advanced Coatings will be headquartered in Deinze, Belgium. Maurice Murphy will be CEO of the new company. Maurice has extensive experience managing international advanced technology companies, including a group of advanced coating companies. In his most recent role as CEO of PPC Insulators, Maurice tripled the size of the business through a combination of expanding its five European factories, acquiring a business in Brazil and building new factories in Thailand and China. Maurice commented, “I am delighted to be leading our new business. Over the past months, I developed excellent relationships with the key business managers from Soleras and BAC. Both companies have tremendous talent and outstanding technologies. We will expand our capacity and capabilities to better serve our existing and new customers, ensuring
continued strong growth.”
Dean Plaisted, currently President of Soleras, will continue in a leadership role with the new Company. Dean will be Vice President of the Global Advanced Target Business Unit of Soleras Advanced Coatings. He will be on the company’s Board of Directors and a shareholder.
Matthew Neville, Operating Partner at Element will become the Chairman of Soleras Advanced Coatings. Matthew was formerly the CEO and Chairman of Cabot Micro. Michael Bevan, Managing Director of Element Partners will also be joining the Board.
Element Partners is a leading growth equity firm investing in high-growth companies offering innovative products and services to the global energy, industrial, and environmental markets. Element’s team has over 125 combined years of experience and has successfully managed over USD 1.2 billion in capital commitments spanning six investment partnerships, making Element one of the earliest and most experienced investors in these markets.
Bekaert is a global technological and market leader in advanced solutions based on metal transformation and coatings, and the world’s largest independent manufacturer of drawn steel wire products.
Bekaert is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing 28 000 people worldwide. Serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert pursues sustainable profitable growth in all its activities and generated combined sales of EUR 4.5 billion in 2010.

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