Livingstone’s Industrial sector team has advised Austrian Group Kronospan on its €50m acquisition of Spanish manufacturer of wood based panels, chemicals and doors, Grupo Interbon.
Established in 1897, Kronospan is the global leading wood based panels and laminate flooring manufacturer, with 34 wood-based panel manufacturing sites and offices across 27 countries. The Company, which remains family owned, employs over 11,000 people with 70% of total product sales generated in emerging markets.
Founded 1965, Interbon’s activities include a particleboard plant, a medium density fiberboard (MDF) plant, a chemicals plant, a door manufacturer and a logistics business. Although Interbon had over 72% of the Spanish market pre-crisis, the severe recession forced Interbon, and many of its competitors, into liquidation.
Livingstone was approached by Kronospan in June 2012 to help prepare and negotiate the acquisition of Interbon in a competitive process launched by the liquidator. For over 10 years, Kronospan had been interested in securing a footprint in Spain. Partner at Livingstone Madrid, Neil Collen, had met Peter Kaindl, Chairman and CEO of Kronospan in 2006 when Livingstone was appointed to sell Faus Group, a Spanish laminate flooring manufacturer. On that occasion Kronospan was outbid and Faus was sold to Kronospan’s rival Finsa, but Peter was left with a positive impression of Livingstone and was keen to involve Neil in the Interbon deal.
During the Interbon acquisition process, the Livingstone team led the negotiations with liquidators, unions and regional government, and gave advice on deal structure and valuation.
Interbon is an excellent fit for Kronospan. The acquisition will open up new opportunities for Interbon, across Kronospan’s existing markets and its customers will have access to a wider range of products and services. Kronospan will also undertake significant investment in Interbon to improve productivity, and ensure market leading health and safety and environmental controls.
“It was a real pleasure working with Peter Kaindl and his team at Kronospan. They have a vast amount of experience in restructuring companies and turning them into profitable businesses and this will secure the future of Interbon and its workforce,” said Neil Collen, Partner of Livingstone Spain.