April 18, 2018 / 6:16 AM / a month ago

Exclusive - Imerys selling 1 billion euro tiles business, buyout funds bidding: sources

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - France’s Imerys is selling its roof tiles business as it streamlines its portfolio, people close to the matter said, expecting the asset to be valued at around 1 billion euros (£0.9 billion), with private equity most likely to clinch the deal.

The Paris-listed minerals company has hired JPMorgan and Rothschild to sell the asset, which has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of around 115 million euros, and may sell for around 9-9.5 times that, the sources said.

Private equity funds Cinven, Lone Star and Carlyle bid for the company and final round bids were due in around three weeks, the sources said, who did not want to be named. One said Cinven was bidding together with Belgiums’s Etex.

Imerys the banks and the bidders declined to comment.

Imerys is a multinational company with a market capitalisation of almost 6 billion euros and 2017 revenue of 4.6 billion euros and 890 million euros of EBITDA.

The tiles unit is part of Imerys’ ceramic materials unit, which saw its sales and earnings decline last year as it struggled with a mix of weak house renovation markets, a challenging paper market for its kaolin ops and robust emerging markets demand for houseware and technical ceramics.

The private equity bidders for the roofing tiles business are no strangers to the industry. Lone Star in 2016 bought German-based building materials maker Xella. Cinven owns Chryso, a French maker of additives for construction materials and Carlyle is invested in Spanish building materials group Cupa.

Johnson & Johnson and a unit of Imerys, Imerys Talc America, were recently told to pay $117 million in damages in a case linking cancer to asbestos in talc.

($1 = 0.8097 euros)

Editing by David Evans

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