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|| Saudi Investors acquired stake in Italian ceramic company

saudi investors italySaudi investors Intaj Capital have acquired a strategic stake in Powergres, an Italian-based contemporary ceramic designer and distributor. The deal size is not disclosed.

Intaj Capital is a $250 million private equity fund managed by Saudi-based Swicorp investment and focusing on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The deal has been executed through one if its portfolio investments, the Bahrain-based Uniceramic Holding. The transaction consisted of both a capital increase and a share swap.

(Their press release follows:





Al Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia- 09 September 2009 - Intaj Capital, a US$ 250 million private equity fund managed by Swicorp and focusing on the Middle East and North Africa ('MENA') region, has acquired through one if its portfolio investments, Uniceramic Holding ('Uniceramic'), a strategic stake in Powergres, a leading Italian-based contemporary ceramic designer and distributor. The transaction consisted of both a capital increase and a share swap.

Uniceramic, a company incorporated under the laws of Bahrain, was created in 2007 with the vision of building it into a MENA region-based international player in the ceramic tiles and sanitarywares industry, leveraging the cost-competitiveness of the MENA region in the sector and growing demand across the region.

Since its inception in 2004, Powergres has grown to be renowned for its trend-leading designs and world-class product quality, having succeeded in building a strong brand and international distribution capabilities.

Nabil Triki, Head of Private Equity at Swicorp, said: "The MENA region continues to be among the most attractive regions globally as relates to the ceramics industry. In a market experiencing steady growth and blessed with a competitive cost structure, the addition of Powergres to Uniceramic's portfolio of investments will enable us to extend our distribution capabilities beyond the MENA region and acquire world-class know-how in the areas of design and manufacturing". Hassen Marzouk, who led the execution of the transaction and will represent Intaj on the Powergres Board of Directors, added: "Powergres has built a successful business model in a relatively short timeframe. We are confident the complementary strengths of Uniceramic and Powergres will take us a step further in achieving the initial objectives we had laid out for the company".

Donato Mancini, CEO of Powergres, said: "This integration of Powergres within Uniceramic will enable the company to consolidate its position, providing it with access to the financial resources and competitive-cost manufacturing platforms of Uniceramic in the MENA region".



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