EOS Investment Management (EOS IM) confirms the acquisition of Atex, the third deal in close succession. Atex is the latest company to be added to EOS IM’s portfolio, which is currently primarily invested into the real economy in Italy due to its competitive privately owned companies, with good profitability, a solid financial structure and high growth potential.
EOS IM has acquired a majority stake in the company. Atex is a multinational company with a manufacturing presence in both Italy and United States. It is a leader in the production and sale of non-woven fabrics.
Founded in 1993, Atex’s headquarters is located in the north of Italy, and boasts a high value added production facility, utilising a specialist polymer extrusion process.
In 2000, after achieving commercial success abroad, Atex built a cutting-edge production plant in Gainesville (Georgia, USA), which has now become Atex Inc. In 2016, Atex had a turnover of about 50 million euro, with strong operating margins (14% Ebitda) and a solid financial position.
EOS IM’s acquisition will enable Atex to further develop its ambitious yet pragmatic new industrial strategy, which entails both the enhancing of the key senior team resources and the strengthening of production plants in order to penetrate new market niches. The plan is also to widen the Atex offering through new acquisitions, always under the hallmark of identifying talent, flexibility and quality, which are part of Atex’s historical DNA.
Intesa Sanpaolo, also through its Branch in New York, acted as a lending bank for the transaction. While Banca IMI (Intesa Sanpaolo Group) acted as Mandated Lead Arranger, Bookrunner and Agent.
EOS IM has been assisted by the Banking team at McDermott Will & Emery for legal aspects and for fiscal aspects related to Atex Inc. Ludovici Piccone & Partners law firm has assisted EOS IM for the fiscal due diligence of Atex SpA, while EY Transaction Advisory Services and KPMG have acted as advisors respectively for the accounting due diligence and the ESG due diligence. The commercial/ strategic due diligence has been carried out with the support of Roland Berger. Intesa Sanpaolo Group has been supported, for the legal aspects related to the transaction, by Gatti, Pavesi, Bianchi and by the American firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.
Interview with Michelle Barnett at Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Please tell me about your involvement in the deal?
I lead the team at Seyfarth to prepare the governance requirements, including the Georgia merger documents, the adjustments in management responsibilities and in the board, and the facilitation of financing through the Georgia filings, and the process for appointing proper US officers for rapid signatures and timely deliveries to meet the client’s needs for closing date.
Did any challenges arise when undergoing due diligence for this deal? If so, how did you work around them?
The significant concerns were in the structure of the board and management team, which required assessment of prior management experience, advise on administrative expediency and sufficiency, and some political attention with the decision makers.
How will this deal help your clients develop internationally? Is there anything you do to ensure this development succeeds?
The business side seems to be in good shape, and our role at Seyfarth is to continue our support of the local team, though in the light of the new ownership expectations.