UK’s 3i sells Spanish Esmalglass to Bahrain-based Investcorp

British private equity investor 3i Group Plc (LON:III) said today it had divested Esmalglass-Itaca, a Spanish supplier of intermediate products for the ceramic industry, to Bahrain-based investment manager Investcorp for an unspecified amount.

3i made its first entry into the Spanish firm in 2002 when it bought a 49% stake in it for EUR230m (USD282.5m) as part of a management buyout of the whole company. Later in 2004 it acquired the remaining 40% of Esmalglass’s unit Itaca, specialising in colours manufacturing for the ceramic industry.

Commenting on the deal, Oscar Gomez, director at 3i, said that Esmalglass had expanded over the last decade through internationalisation and strengthening its top market position, and its acquisition by Investcorp would back its new business plan and enhance its value.

According to Antonio Blasco and Vicente Bagan, co-CEOs of Esmalglass, the sale of the company to a “highly complementary partner” such as Investcorp provides it with significant opportunities for further international growth.

Esmalglass, which was founded in 1978, produces ceramic glazes and colours as well as inkjet inks, which are used for the decoration of tile surfaces. It has plants in Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Russia, Indonesia and China, as well as large design and technical assistance teams in all the major ceramic markets globally. In 2011, Esmalglass generated revenues of some EUR270m.