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Mexichem to Acquire Netafim - World Leader in Smart Irrigation


TLALNEPANTLA DE BAZ, Mexico, Aug 07, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Copyright Business Wire 2017

Mexichem, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV:MEXCHEM*) ("The Company" or "Mexichem") announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire an 80% stake in Netafim, Ltd. ("Netafim"), an Israeli private company, from a company backed by the Permira Funds and other minority shareholders. Kibbutz Hatzerim, the founder, will retain the remaining 20% stake of Netafim's share capital. The total enterprise value of the transaction is US$1.895 billion.
Netafim is the world's largest irrigation company. In the past few years it has achieved strong financial performance, with top line growth and improving profitability, reaching total sales of US$855 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Mexichem will fund the acquisition with a combination of cash and debt.
"This is a transformational acquisition that advances Mexichem's drive into specialty products and solutions and establishes us as a leading innovator in the high growth, micro-irrigation market. At the same time, Netafim positions us to become a leading developer of solutions to address food and water shortages, and respond to the need of increase crop yields and meet higher sustainability standards for fertilization. Netafim has a long history of being at the forefront of creating smart solutions for the irrigation market. This acquisition will give Mexichem access to this smart technology which can be applied to heating and cooling, water management, Datacom, and other sectors, providing a platform from which to create smart industrial solutions around our existing product lines that serve the infrastructure, housing and Datacom markets," said Antonio Carrillo Rule, Mexichem's Chief Executive Officer.
Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Netafim is a global leader in developing, manufacturing and distributing advanced drip and micro-irrigation solutions, with local presence in more than 30 countries, 17 manufacturing plants, more than 4,300 employees and sales in more than 110 countries worldwide. Netafim's advanced technologies and end-to-end solutions help growers across the world achieve higher and better crop yields while reducing usage of water and other inputs, such as manpower, nutrients and crop protection.
"By combining our current irrigation portfolio with Netafim's business, we will create a formidable growth platform to drive synergies. With sales of almost $1 billion in the aggregate, this new business unit will have access to the resources, sales channels, and customer base of Mexichem's global business. Additionally, we expect to leverage Netafim's resources and expertise to create innovative new solutions across Mexichem's specialty products. We also see substantial operating efficiencies over time in raw material procurement, logistics, and the sharing of production processes and technology know-how," continued Mr Carrillo.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ran Maidan, Netafim's Chief Executive Officer noted, "We are proud to have won the trust of a leading company such as Mexichem, and believe that together we will have an improved cost position and broader portfolio to support continued profitable growth and to extend our reach to new customers and geographies. We also will be able to apply our R&D and technical expertise in developing end-to-end innovative solutions that Mexichem can offer to its industrial customer base."
Concluding, Mr. Carrillo said, "This acquisition strengthens Mexichem's investment thesis by significantly broadening our portfolio of specialty products, diversifying and expanding our end-markets and broadening our geographic footprint."
Torsten Vogt, a Permira Partner and Co-Head of Industrials, commented, "Netafim is an outstanding business and we are proud to have supported the company's growth and its critical mission of conserving and protecting water resources. Over the course of our partnership with Netafim's management, Kibbutz Hatzerim and Kibbutz Magal, the company was transformed into a best-in-class global leader, with an enhanced focus on innovation and new product development, and an expanded footprint and resources. It has been a pleasure working with the Netafim team and we wish them continued success as part of Mexichem."
The transaction is subject to approval by Mexichem's shareholders meeting and regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017. Once the transaction is completed, Mexichem will consolidate Netafim under its Fluent Business Group for accounting purposes. Netafim will continue to operate under its current management and with its existing brand portfolio.
Mexichem will host a conference call to discuss the transaction on Monday August 7th, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. Mexico City / 8:30 a.m. NY. To access the call, please dial 001-855-817-7630 (Mexico), or 1-888-349-0106 (United States) or 1-412-902-0131 (International). All callers should dial in a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the start time and ask for the Mexichem conference call.
The call will also be available through live webcast. A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the end of the call. The replay can be accessed via Mexichem's website at www.mexichem.com.
J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisor to Mexichem in the transaction.
About Netafim
Netafim is the global leader in smart irrigation solutions for a sustainable future. With 29 subsidiaries, 17 manufacturing plants and over 4,300 employees worldwide, Netafim delivers innovative solutions to growers of all sizes, from smallholders to large-scale agricultural producers, in over 110 countries. Founded in 1965, Netafim pioneered the drip revolution, creating a paradigm shift toward low-flow irrigation. Today, Netafim provides the most advanced irrigation solutions for agriculture, landscape and mining. Specializing in end-to-end solutions from the water source to the root zone, Netafim delivers turnkey irrigation projects - Including bulk water supply, advanced irrigation systems and digital crop management and automation systems, supported by engineering, agronomic, technical and financing services. Netafim's leading solutions enable efficient irrigation and are helping the world to "Grow More With Less."
About Kibbutz Hatzerim
Located in the Negev desert in Israel, Kibbutz Hatzerim was founded in 1946. It co-founded Netafim in 1965, and introduced drip irrigation technology commercially to the agricultural community. One of the first agricultural settlements to move from traditional farming to corporate entrepreneurship, Hatzerim has supported continuous innovation in irrigation for over 50 years. It has provided Netafim a rich legacy of down-to-earth rural values combined with cutting-edge agronomic and technological expertise to lead the way in drip and micro irrigation solutions that help farmers around the world.
About Permira
Permira is a global investment firm that finds and backs successful businesses with growth ambition. Founded in 1985, the firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately EUR32 billion (US$35 billion). The Permira funds make long-term investments in companies with the ambition of transforming their performance and driving sustainable growth. In the past 32 years, the Permira funds have made over 200 private equity investments in five key sectors: Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials and Technology. Current and past industrial investments for the Permira funds include chemical manufacturer CABB, micro-irrigation specialist Netafim, containment solutions business Bakercorp, and leading fulfillment solutions provider Intelligrated. Permira employs over 200 people in 14 offices across North America, Europe and Asia.
ABOUT MEXICHEM
Mexichem is a global leader in plastic piping, one of the most cost-efficient PVC producer and one of the world's largest chemical and petrochemical companies. Mexichem contributes to global development by delivering an extended portfolio of products to high growth sectors such as infrastructure, housing, Datacom, water management, among others. With operations in over 30 countries, Mexichem's global footprint includes more than 18,000 employees, 120 plants, two fluorite mines, 15 R&D laboratories and eight training academies. Mexichem has annual revenues of US$5.4 billion, it has over 50 years of history and more than 30 years trading on the Mexican Stock Exchange. The company is member of the Mexican Stock Exchange Sustainability Index and the sustainability emerging markets index FTSE4Good.
Forward-looking Statements
In addition to historical information, this press release contains "forward-looking" statements that reflect management's expectations for the future. The words "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "hope," "have the intention of," "might," "plan," "should" and similar expressions generally indicate comments on expectations. The final results may be materially different from current expectations due to several factors, which include, but are not limited to, global and local changes in politics, the economy, business, competition, market and regulatory factors, cyclical trends in relevant sectors; as well as other factors that are highlighted under the title "Risk Factors" on the annual report submitted by Mexichem to the Mexican National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). The forward-looking statements included herein represent Mexichem's views as of the date of this press release. Mexichem undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement for any reason unless required by law."
Mexichem has implemented a new Code of Ethics that rules its relationships with its employees, clients, suppliers and general groups. Mexichem's Code of Ethics is available for consulting in the following link: http://www.mexichem.com/Codigo_de_etica.html. Additionally, Mexichem Audit Committee established a mechanism of contact, which allows that any person that knows the unfulfilment of operational and accounting records guidelines and lack of internal controls of the Code of Ethics, from the Company itself or from the subsidiaries that this controls, file a complaint which is anonymously guaranteed. The whistleblower program is facilitated by a third party. The telephone number in Mexico is 01-800-062-12-03. The website is http://www.ethic-line.com/mexichem and contact e-mail is mexichem@ethic-line.com. Mexichem's Audit Committee will be notified of all complaints for immediate investigation.
http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=bwnews&sty=20170807005408r1&sid=cmtx6&distro=nx&lang=en
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170807005408/en/
SOURCE: Mexichem, S.A.B. de C.V.

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