Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division announced today that it has partnered with Koch Equity Development LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., to acquire shares representing 100% of Flint Group's share capital from funds advised by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. Koch Equity Development has agreed to invest with Goldman Sachs in a newly formed entity that will acquire Flint Group.
Flint Group is a leading global supplier of inks and other print consumables such as flexographic printing plates, blankets, image transfer products and chemicals for press rooms, to the packaging and the print media industries. The company has a global footprint and is the number one or number two supplier in most of the market segments it serves. Flint Group operates 137 sites in 40 countries and employs some 6,600 people.
"The management team of Flint Group is excited about this planned new ownership, and the opportunities this now presents," says Antoine Fady, CEO of Flint Group. "The investment by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking and Koch is a clear vote of confidence in our vision, strategic plans, and ‘can do' culture. Flint Group's fundamental dedication to safety, sustainability, integrity and compliance will continue to form the foundation of all of our business activities."
Martin Hintze, Co-head of Corporate Equity Investing in Europe of Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division says: "The acquisition of Flint Group fits well into our strategy of investing in leading global franchises and growing them organically and through acquisitions. We look forward to working in partnership with Koch Equity Development and Flint Group's strong management team to execute on their strategy."
"We believe Flint Group is uniquely positioned to capture growth in its attractive printed packaging markets while at the same time continuing to benefit from strong and resilient performance of its print media business. With a significantly improved capital structure, Flint Group is best positioned to pursue its ambitious growth plans to further strengthen its market leading positions," adds Matthias Hieber, Head of Corporate Equity Investing in the German Speaking Region of Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.
"Flint Group is an exciting opportunity for Koch Equity Development," says Brett Watson, managing director of Koch Equity Development. He adds, "Flint Group is a global leader with a clear strategy and a management team that has a consistent record of delivering results."
"Partnering with top-tier firms like Goldman Sachs and investing in competitively advantaged businesses with high quality management teams is consistent with Koch's investment strategy," adds Matt Flamini, president of Koch Equity Development. "We look forward to working with Goldman Sachs and Flint Group to assist the company in transitioning to its next phase of growth."
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Koch Equity Development will support the strategy developed by the Flint Group's management team as it pursues a targeted business mix evolution towards the more attractive and higher growth printed packaging market while maintaining Flint Group's strong position in the resilient print media business.
Chris Wildmoser, Partner of CVC, notes that "For almost 10 years, CVC has helped to build Flint Group through a series of acquisitions into the global leader it is today. We are pleased that, with Goldman Sachs and Koch Equity Development, we have found new owners who will continue to pursue this strategy in further developing the company."
Mr. Fady concludes that "the transition will be seamless for Flint Group's customers, employees and suppliers. Flint Group's vision to be the print consumable supplier of choice to the global packaging and printing industries will remain firmly in place. With its unique product portfolio and market-focused approach, Flint Group will continue to provide exceptional value to customers around the world."
This sale remains subject to customary closing conditions and should be completed by the second half of 2014.