Kibbutz Sdot Yam in talks to sell Caesarstone

Permira and other private equity funds are in talks to buy the Nasdaq traded company for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Caesarstone Sdot Yam Ltd. (Nasdaq: CSTE) controlling shareholder Kibbutz Sdot Yam is in initial talks to sell control of the quartz surfaces manufacturer, which has a market cap of $482 million. The kibbutz owns 56.1% of the company, and if a deal is reached, it will make a capital gain of hundreds of millions of shekels.

The negotiations are reportedly for the sale of all or part of Kibbutz Sdot Yam's stake in Caesarstone. Tene Investment Funds Ltd. is the company's second largest shareholder with a 24% stake, which last year sold its stake in another kibbutz enterprise, Netafim Ltd. Tene may participate in the sale of Caesarstone.

The talks are reportedly with foreign private equity funds, including Permira Funds LLC, which acquired Netafim. JPMorgan Chase, one of Caesarstone's underwriters, is reportedly handling the sale.

Caesarstone raised $84.3 million at $11 per share in its Nasdaq IPO in March 2012. The share price closed at $14.90 on Friday, giving a 35% yield on its IPO price. The company posted $75.4 million revenue for the second quarter, 14.2% over the corresponding quarter of 2011, mainly due to 60% growth in US sales. Its non-GAAP net profit was $12 million.

Caesarstone said in response, "The company does not respond to rumors."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 21, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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