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3i exits Esmalglass-Itaca

3i, an international investor, and funds managed by 3i, have today announced their divestment of Esmalglass-Itaca (“Esmalglass”), a leading global supplier of intermediate products for the ceramic industry, to international investing firm Investcorp. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Established in 1978 in Villareal, Spain, Esmalglass produces high quality ceramic glazes and colours as well as inkjet inks, an innovative and rapidly growing product used to decorate tile surfaces. Esmalglass products are sold to more than 450 customers worldwide. The company employs more than 1,000 staff and its global activities are supported by manufacturing and mixing plants in Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Russia, Indonesia and China, as well as large design and technical assistance teams in all the major ceramic markets across the world. In 2011, Esmalglass generated a turnover of approximately €270 million.

In 2002, 3i and the management of Esmalglass acquired 100% of the company, in the largest MBO in Spain that year. 3i took a 49% stake in a deal valued at €230 million.
Since then, 3i has worked closely with the management team to develop the company’s strategy. This included the 2004 acquisition of the remaining 40% of Itaca, a subsidiary of Esmalglass involved in colours manufacturing for the ceramic industry, that it did not yet own. This acquisition established the company as one of the leading worldwide producers in technology, products, technical assistance and design.

Oscar Gomez, Director at 3i, said: "Over the past 10 years, Esmalglass has continued to grow, primarily through internationalisation and the consolidation of its leadership position in technology and high value-add products. These factors have enabled the company to come through the recent challenging years. We are proud to have supported the team in this journey. Today’s shareholder change will support the company’s new business plan and ensure continued value creation.”

Dr. Vicente Bagán and Dr. Antonio Blasco, Co-CEOs of Esmalglass, said: “3i’s investment has enabled Esmalglass to develop into a leading international business with a well-diversified product portfolio.  As we move into our next phase of development, we see significant international expansion opportunities and view Investcorp as a highly complementary partner to back and support our international growth plans.” 

For further information, contact:

Laurie Yeh 
Tel: +44 20 7975 3126

Notes to editors:

About 3i
3i is a leading international investor focused on mid-market private equity, infrastructure and debt management across Europe, Asia and the Americas. As at 31 March 2012, 3i had total assets under management of £10.5bn, including £6.3bn advised or managed on behalf of third parties.

About Esmalglass-Itaca
Founded in Spain in 1978, Esmalglass-Itaca expanded its product portfolio of frits and glazes into colours through the acquisition of Itaca in 1999, transforming it into a leading producer of intermediates for the ceramic industry. Dedicated to highest quality products, customer-oriented service, world class technical assistance and continuous innovation, the company has become a global leader in its sector, leveraging its position in ceramic colours to drive the ongoing transition towards inkjet inks, a revolutionary printing technology to decorate tile surfaces. The company employs more than 1,000 employees and has a global presence with manufacturing and mixing plants in Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, Russia and China.

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