Ceramic Industry News

Saint-Gobain Acquires Maxit (posted 8/8/07)

Saint-Gobain recently announced the acquisition from HeidelbergCement of Maxit group, a manufacturer of industrial mortars. Maxit has 5130 employees and reported sales of €1237 million (~ $1709 million) in 2006. With this transaction, Saint-Gobain continues its leadership strategy in Construction Markets, doubling its size in industrial mortars (which, in 2006, represented €1 billion [~ $1.4 billion] in products sold under the Weber trademark) and strengthening its External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS) solutions.

Weber is a market leader in France and in Southern Europe, and is very well established in Eastern Europe, while Maxit group is a leading player in Germany and Scandinavia. In addition, the two groups have a joint presence in many emerging countries and in most western European countries. Maxit has 103 industrial units in 30 countries, and Weber has 80 industrial units in 27 countries.

Industrial mortars combine strong growth in emerging countries and sustained growth in developed countries as a result of improvements in the exterior insulating systems and productivity gains on building sites. Industrial mortars are inherently local products, for which marketing and technical innovations play an important role in terms of product formulations and specifications.

In addition to manufacturing industrial mortars, Maxit group produces clay-based solutions for draining and insulating foundations, a widely-used technique in Scandinavian countries. Maxit’s addition to the Construction Products Sector of Saint-Gobain is expected to provide opportunities for a variety of synergies with both Exterior Solutions (particularly Weber mortars) and Interior Solutions (plaster, insulation products). The Group is aiming for cost synergies of approximately €30 million (~ $41 million).

The transaction, which has an enterprise value of €2125 million (~ $2936 million), or approximately 11 times Maxit’s estimated operating income for 2007 after cost synergies, is subject to approval by relevant competition authorities. Finalization of the transaction is expected by the fourth quarter of the year.

Additional information is available at www.saint-gobain.com.

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