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Victoria acquires Spanish tile giant Keraben

November 2017

Victoria’s Chairman, Geoff Wilding, who has overseen an expansion drive since taking over the business five years ago, said: "We believe that Keraben is a high-quality addition to the group.  Notwithstanding its further strong organic growth prospects, the acquisition of Keraben will be materially earnings accretive in the first year of ownership and continues to increase our geographic diversity.  Post-completion, over 50% of Victoria's earnings will be generated from outside the UK, continuing our transformation into a genuinely international flooring business."

The deal is partly being paid for by a £180 million share sale, supported by both existing and new investors, that was oversubscribed several times over.  Victoria has also agreed new banking facilities from its group of lenders – Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Allied Irish Bank – including a new term loan of £160 million.

Victoria is expecting the takeover to significantly boost its earnings over the coming year.  In 2016 Keraben generated £106.4 million in revenue, with pre-tax earnings of £24.7 million.  Earnings are expected to be 10% higher this year.

The deal follows Victoria’s recent notification of its soon to be completed takeover of Italian tile firm Ceramiche Serra for £50 million.

Victoria is now the UK's largest carpet manufacturer and the second biggest in Australia. With operations in Belgium and the Netherlands, it currently employs around 1,800 people across 20 sites.

Ceramic tile is the world's largest flooring sector, representing over 60% of the 12.5 billion sq. metres of flooring sold globally and 30% of the European flooring market.

The acquisition figure is nearly equal to Victoria's £255 million gross revenue a mere two years ago.  It is by far the biggest of a string of takeovers mounted by Victoria over recent years as it expanded its operations in the UK, Australia and in Europe.  The 122-year-old company is still run from its Kidderminster HQ, where it employs around 150 people.

Source: https://www.expressandstar.com

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