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Lone Star to float Balta

Balta SoftnobleFlooring group Balta is to float on the Brussels stockmarket, almost two years after being bought by Lone Star.

The company will raise €137.6m to reduce its €385m debts. New shares will be issued alongside Lone Star selling some of its. No information has been provided on the number of shares, new and Lone Star’s, to be issued.
The group had pro-forma sales of €668m and adjusted EBITDA of €97m last year. It says it will return 30%-40% of profits to shareholders as dividends.
The UK and Republic of Ireland made up 22% of sales last year, the rest of Europe 42%, North America 28% and the rest of the world 8%. Residential carpet sales made up 35% of sales, rugs 32%, commercial 29% and non-wovens 4%.
Rugs generated 39% of profits, residential 29%, commercial 29% and non-wovens 3%.
The company has made plain its plans to grow by acquisition, as demonstrated by the purchase of Bentley Mills in March. ‘In addition to organic initiatives, the company is well-positioned to drive the market consolidation by leveraging its scale and track record of operational excellence. The fragmented nature of the market, with numerous high-quality small-scale companies, coupled with Balta’s reputation in the market creates a solid M&A pipeline. With well-defined target selection criteria, a disciplined approach to valuation and integration capabilities, Balta’s management has sufficient resources, expertise and focus to explore further inorganic growth opportunities,’ it said.
‘Balta’s IPO is an exciting milestone in the 53-year history of the group. Our ambition is to continue our transformation into a leading global player in decorative rugs and soft flooring,’ said Tom Debusschere, Balta ceo.
‘We stay the course in commercial carpets USA. Bentley continues to execute its growth strategy with its successful team and independent brand identity. Our listing on Euronext Brussels is a major step in the realisation of our objectives as it will allow us to continue the virtuous cycle of ever faster design and innovation and will strengthen our position to further support the international growth of the company. We strongly believe that this will benefit our customers, employees and shareholders.’