Bridgepoint has sold its 85% shareholding in ERFTCARBON, the German producer of graphite and carbon products, to the Japanese company Tokai Carbon Co. The sale and purchase agreement was signed today, April 18, 2005 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The transaction, whose consideration is undisclosed, is subject to final approval of competition authorities.
Bridgepoint, a European private equity firm, acquired ERFTCARBON, a spin off of the VAW Group, in September 1998. In 2004, ERFTCARBON generated revenues of €83 million.
ERFTCARBON, based in Grevenbroich near Dusseldorf and with 367 employees, is one of the three leading European manufacturers of large dimension graphite and carbon products supplied to customers worldwide. ERFTCARBON's products include graphite electrodes for the manufacture of steel as well as graphite and carbon cathodes for the manufacture of aluminium.
Tokai Carbon Co. is a Japanese manufacture of graphite electrodes, carbon black for industrial rubber products and of specialist graphite products. Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and generated revenues of approximately €480 million in 2004.
Dieter Schiefer and Werner Kapellner, Managing Directors of ERFTCARBON, are excited about the transaction. They said: "With Tokai Carbon as our new shareholder and its deep understanding of our industry, new strategic perspectives will be opened up to us."
Tokai Carbon's acquisition of ERFTCARBON Group will result in one of the world's largest manufacturers of graphite electrodes being formed. The sale of ERFTCARBON, which attracted interest from a number of international acquirers, was one of the few remaining opportunities for consolidation in the global graphite electrode market. The transaction strengthens Tokai Carbon's international competitive position and is a huge step in the further development of ERFTCARBON.
Advisers involved in the transaction were: for Bridgepoint and ERFTCARBON management: KPMG Corporate Finance and Buchanan Ingersoll (strategic consultancy), Clifford Chance (legal); for Tokai Carbon - Sal Oppenheim (corporate finance), Mitsubishi Securities, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (legal).
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