CVC Capital Partners ("CVC"), a leading European private equity firm, today announced to launch a public offer on 8 March 2005 for all outstanding shares in Forbo Holding AG ("Forbo"), Eglisau/Switzerland, for CHF 260 in cash per Forbo registered share. The offer will be formally made by AFB Investment S.A., a newly-formed Luxemburg company controlled by CVC funds. The Board of Directors of Forbo has indicated to CVC that it intends to recommend shareholders to accept the offer.
The offer price of CHF 260 corresponds to an equivalent of CHF 376.94 before the effects of Forbo’s capital increase in December 2004. This represents a highly attractive premium of 81.7 % over the closing price of Forbo shares of CHF 207.50 (also before the capital increase) on the Swiss Stock Exchange on 10 November 2004, the day before CVC’s interest in Forbo was publicly announced in a media release by Forbo. The offer price is thus also above the CHF 350 – 370 price range (before the effects of the capital increase) initially indicated by CVC. CVC believes that this offer represents outstanding value for Forbo’s shareholders.
Forbo is a global producer of floor coverings, adhesives and belting. The company has approximately 5,600 employees and an international network of 30 production companies and 45 sales organisations in 30 countries. Consolidated net sales in 2004 were CHF 1.6 billion.
Christian Wildmoser, Managing Director of CVC Capital Partners (Switzerland), comments: «CVC believes that it can contribute substantially to completing the restructuring of Forbo. Based on our extensive experience in the industrial sector, CVC will be able to provide Forbo’s management with significant support to strengthen the position of Forbo’s three businesses and to ensure their long-term success. Also, CVC will be able to back Forbo in the required expansion of its market position in Asia.
As stated in the official pre-announcement published today, the offer will be effected by AFB Investment S.A., a newly-formed Luxemburg company under the control of private equity funds advised by CVC and established for the purpose of making the offer. The offer commences on 8 March 2005 and is expected to close after 20 trading days on or around 6 April 2005, 16.00 CET (15.00 GMT). AFB Investment’s principal condition for the offer is that it will hold at least 66.67% of all outstanding shares in Forbo by the end of the offer period. The offer will be financed through equity provided by funds advised by CVC as well as through debt financing provided by a bank syndicate. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of April 2005. Detailed information on the offer will be published in the offer prospectus on 8 March 2005.
About CVC Capital Partners
CVC Capital Partners is a leading independent private equity provider, specialising in large scale leveraged buy-outs. Founded in 1981 as Citicorp’s European private equity arm, CVC completed its own management buy-out in 1993 and is independently owned by its management.
CVC closed its most recent European fund of USD 4 billion in 2001 and currently has total funds under management of over USD 9 billion. CVC has 12 offices across Europe. The Swiss office is based in Zurich. CVC is also one of the leading private equity houses in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has four offices.
In Switzerland, CVC funds own Rhiag Group Ltd., a leading distributor of automotive spare parts headquartered in Baar, which had a turnover of EUR 337 million in 2003.
Since 1981, CVC has primarily focused on investing in leveraged buyouts on a pan-European basis. During this time, CVC has completed 218 transactions with a total transaction value in excess of EUR 28 billion.
Further information on CVC is available on the Internet at www.cvceurope.com .