One of funds eyeing controlling interest of Caesarstone
6 foreign funds eyeing Caesarstone
KKR, Premira, Apax Partners, Rhône Capital, Berkshire Capital and Advent Capital receive acquisition forms but prefer to buy entire company, while owners seek to sell controlling interest alone
At least six international funds are eying the controlling interest of Caesarstone – a manufacturer of quartz composite slabs.


Calcalist has learned that KKR, Premira, Apax Partners, Rhône Capital, Berkshire Capital and Advent Capital have received the documents with the acquisition terms from J.P. Morgan's investment banking arm, which was commissioned by the company's majority shareholders – Kibbutz Sdot Yam (58%) and Tene Capital (24% together with Tene Group) – to handle the sale of Caesarstone's controlling interest.


The funds were asked to submit unbinding offers by November 14, which will include an indication regarding the price they are willing to pay for the controlling interest.


Caesarstone is currently traded in the United States according to a market cap of $520 million, after receiving a price tag of some $380 million in March as part of its initial public offering.


At this point, it is still unclear which of the funds will settle for buying Caesarstone's controlling interest rather than the entire company. The sellers are interested in selling Caesarstone's controlling interest as members of kibbutz Sdot Yam are loath to part with the company, and some even oppose the sale of its controlling interest.


In any event, the deal is subject to a green light from Kibbutz Sdot Yam's member assembly. Three weeks ago Calcalist reported that the kibbutz secretariat had issued a letter to kibbutz members, in which it pledged that it did not intend to sell Caesarstone.


Among the six funds mulling the acquisition, Apax Partners and Premira are the only ones invested in Israel: Apax holds the controlling interests of Tnuva dairy cooperative and of Psagot Investment House, and Premira acquired the controlling interest of Netafim Irrigation last year and negotiated the acquisition of Clal Insurance.


Caesarstone, which makes natural quartz composite slabs, posted a 4.6% revenue gain in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the corresponding quarter to $77.6 million due to an increase in its US sales. The company's net profit rose 23% to $12.4 million.


This report was originally published in Hebrew by Calcalist



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