Bekaert in Sale of Its Worldwide Industrial Coatings Business

January 27, 2012

Cleary Gottlieb is representing long-standing client NV Bekaert SA on corporate, financing and antitrust aspects in respect of the sale of its worldwide industrial coatings business to an affiliate of Element Partners, a Pennsylvania, U.S.-based equity fund. A portion of the acquisition is financed by vendor loan financing.

The transaction was signed on January 27, 2012. Bekaert’s industrial coatings business is operated through various direct and indirect subsidiaries, the most important ones of which are based in Belgium and China. The transaction is expected to close in the course of the first half of 2012 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Bekaert, which is listed on Euronext Brussels, is one of Belgium’s largest industrial groups, and a worldwide leader in advanced metal transformation and coatings. The contemplated divestment of the industrial coatings business is a confirmation of Bekaert’s focus on realizing sustainable profitable growth in activities relating to the company’s core technological competences.

Cleary Gottlieb has represented Bekaert over the years in a series of M&A and other transactions, including the divestiture of its historical “fencing” division in 2005, its acquisition of two steel cord manufacturing plants from Bridgestone in 2010, the sale of its specialty films business to Saint-Gobain in 2011, as well as its €400 million and €100 million bond offerings in 2010 and 2011.