Dubai: Dubai International Capital (DIC), the private equity arm of Dubai Holding, said it has acquired German-based alumina producer Almatis for an undisclosed amount.

Almatis, headquartered in Frankfurt, produces specialty alumina materials used in various industrial manufacturing processes such as steel refractories, ceramics and flame retardants.

It has plans to expand into China, Russia, India, Brazil and Middle East markets and aims to increase capacity by 20 per cent to around 750,000 tonnes by 2010.

DIC said it will retain the existing management team and support the growth strategy pursued by the company.

Almatis has eight manufacturing facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the US, Japan, China and India and employs 900 people.


“The company’s growth prospects are robust, as the majority of future growth in the alumina refractory market is driven by global steel volumes produced,” DIC said in a statement.

Global annual production of steel is expected to grow five per cent from 2006 to 2012 and most of the growth is anticipated to come from the Middle East and Asia, it said.

The demand in China is forecast to grow at least 10 per cent per year.

“We view this acquisition as an important milestone in the evolution of Dubai International Capital Private Equity, as it demonstrates our ability to operate even in the most challenging mergers and acquisitions and credit market conditions and reinforces our position as a partner of choice for private equity owners and management teams alike,” said Sameer Al Ansari, chief executive officer of Dubai International Capital.

DIC is acquiring the alumina producer from funds controlled by Rhone Capital and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. It did not disclose the value of the transaction.

“Almatis possesses all the qualities that we seek in pursuing our private equity investment strategy. It is a market leader in a growing industry, with strong management and good business fundamentals. It is an industry that we understand well,” said Sylvain C. Denis, chief executive officer of DIC’s Private Equity said.

JP Morgan and UBS Investment Bank acted as DIC’s lead financial advisors. Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to Rhone and OTPP. UBS Investment Bank has been appointed lead arranger to finance the acquisition.

“After almost four years of highly successful growth under the ownership of Rhone Capital and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, DIC’s decision marks the beginning of the next phase in the development of Almatis,” said Martin Laudenbach, chief executive of Almatis.