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Investcorp Announces 338 6 Million Buyout Of Stahl From Avecia

LONDON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Investcorp, the global investment group,has announced that it has reached agreement for the euro 375 million($338.6 million) buyout of Stahl, a leading manufacturer of speciality chemicals for leather finishing and other specialised coatings and colouration applications. Stahl is one of five operating businesses within the Avecia Group, itself jointly owned by Investcorp and Cinven. The buyout is expected to be completed in January 2002. Stahl reported sales of euro 338.7 million in 2000 and has a leading global position in leather finishes underpinned by its brand reputation and70 year history in the leather industry. The company also holds important positions in colours and tanning products, Permuthane coatings for synthetic substrates and industrial colorants. It operates 13 manufacturing plants and21 technical service laboratory sites in more than 28 countries, enabling itto deliver tailored services to local markets. The buyout will enable Stahl to continue to grow its core leather finishesmarkets and associated new business areas, particularly through expansion inthe Asia Pacific region. The management team, led by chief executive officer,Wilhelm H. Vaskovich, has a proven track record of delivering high qualityresults driven by service excellence and advanced technologies in the high value end of the leather finishing market. Avecia will use the proceeds of the sale to pay down senior bank debt and fund additional growth investments in its strategically important biotechnology and pharmaceutical business sectors. The buyout of Stahl follows the successful sale of Novacote (formerly part of the Stahl Group ofbusinesses) to C.O.I.M, the Italian specialty chemical company, in June 2001. The transaction is being financed with a euro 240 million ($216.7 million)of debt facilities (including a euro 35 million revolving facility)underwritten by JP Morgan. Philippe M. Costeletos, a member of Invest corp's Management Committee,said: "Stahl has performed strongly as an Avecia business unit and we believethis buy-out will give it greater potential for market growth as an independent business. Stahl is a global leader in leather finishes with sustainable above industry growth underpinned by superior high value added products and services. The Company is led by an experienced and committed management team with an established track record." Stahl CEO Wilhelm H. Vaskovich commented that independence would allowStahl to focus its energy and resources. "We are excited about these new opportunities," he said. Investcorp was advised by JP Morgan. Background note: About Stahl Stahl is one of the world's leading suppliers of leather processingproducts and also has strong positions in other selected market niche areaswith proprietary products such as Permuthane. Stahl comprises a group of strategic business units offering a broad rangeof high value-added formulated products and services which address specificcustomer requirements in niche markets such as leather processing, flexiblematerial coatings, paper and industrial colorants. Today, Stahl operates 13 manufacturing plants and 21 strategically locatedtechnical service laboratory facilities world-wide and employs some1,500 people in more than 28 countries, many of whom are engaged in basicresearch and development of new products and processes. Almost one quarter ofthem are dedicated technical experts based at applications laboratoriesoffering top-level local custom-made service wherever leather is beingprocessed throughout the world. Additional information may be found at http://www.stahl.com. About Investcorp Investcorp is a global investment group with offices in London, New Yorkand Bahrain. The firm has four lines of business: corporate investment, realestate investment, asset management and technology investment. It wasestablished in 1982 and has since completed transactions with an aggregatevalue of approximately US $19 billion. In Europe, Investcorp and its clients currently own corporate investmentsthat include Avecia (formerly Zeneca Specialties), Gerresheimer Glas AG andWelcome Break. In the United States, Investcorp and its clients currently owncorporate investments that include Independent Wireless One and Jostens. Additional information may be found at http://www.Investcorp.com. About AveciaWith 2000 sales of 789.6 million pounds sterling and operating profit of120 million pounds, Avecia is one of Europe's largest privately-ownedspecialty chemicals company. Following the sale of Stahl, the company will operate in four businesssegments -- Fine Chemicals, Electronic Materials, Specialty Products andNeoResins. Avecia businesses are linked by common scientific and technology platformsthat deliver technical and service differentiation to customers across a widerange of industries. These include healthcare, biotechnology, agrochemicals,coatings, graphic arts, imaging, mining, plastics, inks and automotive.SOURCE InvestcorpCopyright © 1996-2001 PR Newswire Association Inc. All Rights Reserved.




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