AURELIUS closes acquisition of Armstrong Ceiling Solutions from Knauf
Munich, April 1, 2020 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) (“AURELIUS”) announces the completion of its acquisition of Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, the Armstrong ceiling tiles and grids businesses in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the UK, jointly the Armstrong Ceiling Solutions Markets (the “ACS Markets”), from Knauf International GmbH (“Knauf”).
In August 2019, AURELIUS reached an agreement to purchase the business, which comprises two production facilities situated in the North East of England and three distribution centres located in the UK, Germany and Spain, as well as business operations and sales capabilities across 11 markets. Following the completion of the transaction, Armstrong Ceiling Solutions is a robust, standalone and profitable entity with over 260 employees, led by a highly experienced and dedicated management team.
The transaction followed Knauf’s agreement to acquire Armstrong World Industries’ (“AWI”) EMEA ceiling business (“Armstrong EMEA”) and the retrospective condition required of Knauf by the European Commission to sell parts of the business in order to safeguard market competition for the production and supply of modular suspended ceiling mineral fibre tiles and grid in numerous territories. For the transaction to close, Knauf was obligated to separate the mineral fibre and grid businesses in the ACS Markets to create a new independent group which would then be sold to an approved third-party acquirer. AWI’s sale to Knauf of certain subsidies comprising the EMEA and Pacific Rim businesses of AWI completed on 30 September 2019.
Following the execution of a complex carve-out, AURELIUS will implement an extensive, multi-year capital investment programme designed to deliver substantial technical and specification upgrades to both the mineral fibre and grid production sites enabling the two facilities to produce, in-house, all tiles and grid products that are sold by the business across the geographic markets it serves. Going forward, AURELIUS will also work closely with the management team to take advantage of the growth opportunities across all non-residential construction sectors.
Fritz Seemann, Executive Board Member of AURELIUS, commented: “We are delighted that this acquisition has now been completed and we welcome Armstrong Ceiling Solutions (in the ACS Markets) into our portfolio. The completion of this transaction is doubly significant in that it demonstrates AURELIUS’ capability to transact in highly challenging market conditions as well as our expertise when it comes to executing complex, cross-border carve-outs. We look forward to supporting Armstrong Ceiling Solutions and its management team during the company’s next stage of development, leveraging our extensive experience working with businesses in the manufacturing sector and our operational expertise to support the company’s continued growth.”
AURELIUS was advised by Eversheds Sutherland (Legal), Linklaters (Anti-Trust counsel) and KPMG (Tax). Knauf Ceilings was advised by PwC (Corporate Finance) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Legal).