Investcorp cuts €850m roofing deal

By James Mawson

Investcorp, a UK and Bahrain-listed investment fund, has agreed to buy a roofing material maker for €850m ($1.1bn) from its four owners, one of which is the investment vehicle of founders of LEGO toy bricks.

Icopal is Investcorp’s fourth private equity acquisition in its current fiscal year including the buyouts of Greatwide, a US logistics provider; Armacell, a German foam manufacturer; and Moody International, a UK technical services company, for $1.7bn.

Icopal was previously-owned by an equal partnership of Axcel, Denmark’s largest private equity fund; Carlisle Companies, a US-based diversified manufacturing company; Kirkbi, the Danish private equity fund that is the primary investment vehicle of the Kirk Kristiansen family which founded the LEGO company; and Danish corporate bank FIH.

The original buyout consortium had delisted Icopal for Dkr435 per share in 2000 after a fierce battle against the Trelleborg conglomerate and FIH replaced one of these parties, Canadian shareholder IKO, in late 2005.

Icopal has a turnover of about Dkr6.7bn (€900m) and about 4,000 employees. Castlegreen Partners advised Investcorp with FIH representing the vendors.

Investcorp has picked ING, Mizuho and Lehman Brothers to arrange the debt for its secondary buyout.

Copyright eFinancialNews Ltd. 2007

Investcorp – Press release, June 14, 2007.

Investcorp Acquires Icopal for Euro 850 Million

London, June 14, 2007 – Investcorp, the asset management firm specializing in alternative investments, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Icopal, the leading manufacturer and provider of roofing products and installation services, for Euro 850 million (6.4 billion DKK) on a debt-free basis.

Icopal will be acquired from a consortium comprising Axcel, Denmark’s largest private equity fund, Carlisle Companies Inc, a US diversified manufacturing company, Kirkbi, the Danish private equity fund, and FIH the leading Danish corporate bank. During the consortium’s ownership, Icopal has grown to become the world’s leading producer of roofing and waterproofing membranes and the market leader in the Nordic countries in roofing contracting activities. Investcorp will further support Icopal’s growth.

Icopal is Investcorp’s fourth private equity acquisition in its current fiscal year, following earlier buyouts of Greatwide, Armacell and Moody. Including the acquisition of Icopal, on a combined basis Investcorp has made some $2.8 billion of new acquisitions this year, deploying approximately $856 million of equity.

Icopal is the leading European manufacturer of bituminous waterproofing membranes. Its products are used by the non-residential construction market across Europe, with an increasing focus on the high growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Icopal is also the leading installer of flat and metal roofs and façades in the Nordic countries, and also offers a range of roofing accessories and construction materials. Icopal’s products are predominantly sold to building material merchants, independent roofing contractors and Icopal’s own contracting business, and to a limited extent to DIY retailers. It has 32 manufacturing sites located throughout Europe and the United States, a turnover of approximately EUR 900 million (6.7 million DKK) and employs some 4,000 people.

Icopal was taken private from the Copenhagen Stock Exchange in July 2000.

Commenting on the transaction, Yves Alexandre, a managing director in Investcorp’s private equity team, said:
“Icopal is a true leader in its industry. We are backing a strong management team in a growing industry and believe that Icopal is an attractive platform for growth, particularly due to its innovative product portfolio and strong acquisition track record. It has an attractive position in the dynamic growth markets of Central and Eastern European and Russia. We look forward to capitalising on Icopal’s current momentum and to growing the company both organically and through selective add-ons.”

Christian Frigast, CEO of Axcel, said:
“Since our consortium’s acquisition of Icopal in 2000, we have come far together. Together with Icopal’s management, we have reached our development goals for the company. Now is therefore a natural time to let new owners in, owners who have the strength and experience to accelerate the company’s further growth. Investcorp has a vast experience with developing industrial companies, and I am both very pleased and comfortable with handing over Icopal to Investcorp.”

Martin Ellis, CEO of Icopal, said:
“I believe Investcorp is the right new owner for Icopal, particularly as Investcorp has shown that it is committed to support and develop our strategy for continued development and support our significant growth opportunities within roofing and installation services.”

The acquisition is subject only to regulatory approvals and expected to close mid August.