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Norman Seymore, vice president of the Chryso Group globally, says there are substantial benefits for the Chryso Southern Africa Group following the acquisition of Chryso from its parent company, Materis, in France by a leading European equity firm.

There are substantial benefits for the Chryso Southern Africa Group following the acquisition of Chryso from its parent company, Materis, in France by a leading European equity firm, says Norman Seymore, vice president of the Chryso Group globally.

In South Africa, the Chryso Southern Africa Group consists of admixture producer, Chryso SA, and construction chemicals manufacturer, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals. Seymore is CEO of both companies.

“For Chryso worldwide – and particularly in South Africa – the acquisition has strong benefits particularly because Chryso will now be a stand-alone entity globally, and also because the cash injection resulting from the acquisition will provide Chryso with a new credit line to finance future growth,” Seymore stated.

He said the expanded credit reserves would now enable Chryso to expedite the large-scaled expansion and acquisition plans that had for long been part of its future growth strategy. “Chryso has, for example, just acquired new operations in Sri Lanka, and – as stated before – the Chryso Southern Africa Group has definite plans to establish manufacturing facilities in both East and West Africa. The new credit line the LBO acquisition has provided will increase the pace of Chryso Southern Africa becoming the Chryso springboard into the African continent,” Seymore added.

In a press statement issued in Paris, LBO France announced that it had completed the acquisition of Chryso from Materis for 285 million euros, along with the incumbent management team. The statement reads:

“This transaction follows Chryso’s successful refinancing completed in the (European) summer of 2014. Based on a moderate leverage, it gives the company the flexibility to step up its growth strategy.

“A world leading speciality chemicals player at the service of the construction industry, Chryso specialises in admixtures and construction systems, and is renowned for its strong innovation capability. Admixtures are used in concrete and cement in order to improve properties such as setting, hardening time, fluidity, or strengths. Construction systems are products for concrete repair, flooring, adhesives and waterproofing.

“With sales of 239 million euros in 2013 and nearly 1 000 employees, Chryso is a global player, industrially and commercially present in over 20 countries. The company has exposure to both developed (Europe, North America) and emerging markets, with the latter accounting for over 50% of its business.

“Working with the experienced management team which has built Chryso’s current strong market position, LBO France will support the company’s ambitious business plan by reinforcing its technological leadership and continuing its geographic expansion at global level.

“Robert Dassun, CEO of LBO France, declared: ‘We know Chryso extremely well as it was a subsidiary of Materis, of which LBO France was the majority shareholder between November 2001 and May 2006.  With a highly experienced management team and a solid international position, we are convinced of a strong potential for growth, especially through the promotion of innovation within the product portfolio.’”

LBO France, an independent private equity firm with 4 billion euros under management, runs four non-listed strategies through dedicated teams: (i) Mid Cap LBO White Knight funds, (ii) Small Cap LBO Hexagonal funds, (iii) Real estate White Stone and Lapillus funds, and (iv) Credit opportunities Altercap funds. Responsible and independent, LBO France is 100% owned by its management, in place since 1998, and boasts a team of over 45 professionals.

With the White Knight funds, LBO France invests in “French Champions”, either already present or with strong potential for development abroad. LBO France accompanies them, providing skills and financial means to foster growth: be it organically, through build-ups or operational optimisation. More than 50% of White Knight’s portfolio companies’ turnover is thus generated outside France.

White Knight focuses on companies whose enterprise is valued at between 100 million euros and 2,5 billion euros. Since 1998, over 26 acquisitions have been carried out over six generations of funds. Chryso is thus a White Knight LBO France-owned company.

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