The Antolotti family, assisted by Credit Suisse and the law firm Gattai, Minoli and Agostinelli and with the support of a syndicate of banks led by Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas, acquired the minority shareholdings held by funds managed by EDRIP and Neuberger Berman in Turbocoating SpA, a company at the helm of the multinational group Unitedcoatings based in Rubbiano di Solignano (Parma) world leader in the application of sophisticated thermal spraying coating technologies mainly for the energy, biomedical and aviation sectors.
The Antolotti family gains the control of 100% of the capital of the group founded by the Executive Chairman Nelso Antolotti in 1973, with the aim of consolidating the growth achieved and continuing to invest in research and technological development for the next few years – the group through the subsidiary Artec is also active in the design and assembly of coating equipment – pursuing a further development phase in Italy and abroad.
The Group’s turnover increased from about 40M€ in 2011 to over 100M€ forecast for 2017 (about 80% generated outside Italy by providing its services to the main multinational OEMs), underpinned by approximately 60M€ of capex invested in recent years, increasing the workforce from about 300 to about 600 employees (with 5 factories in Italy, 4 in the United States and 1 in a recent greenfield facility in China). The Group is one of the most prominent and reliable references worldwide in coating technologies, where continuous innovation is the single key element allowing the improvement of materials performance. In recent years, the Group has completed the range of services offered to customers in a “one-stop-shop” framework in order to supply both finished components and parts in the gas turbine and bone implant sectors, also thanks to the integration of complementary high added value activities.
Unitedcoatings has also been one of the pioneers in the industrial scale development of additive manufacturing technologies applied in particular to the biomedical sector. A further key step in the Group’s growth and strategic strengthening was the entry into the aviation sector, started with the establishment in November 2014 of the joint venture with General Electric’s GE Aviation division and dedicated to the supply directly in the United States of specialised coating of ceramic components of the new generation of aircraft engines.
EDRIP and Fondo Italiano d’Investimento – whose investment portfolio was recently acquired by Neuberger Berman – had invested in Turbocoating in early 2013 to consolidate a renewed shareholder base around an ambitious project of organic growth and organizational evolution of the Group enabling the effective pursuit of significant growth prospects based on solid macro trends underlying the sectors in which the Group operated.
“I am satisfied with the growth achieved by the Group I founded and which I have led over the years with the support of a management team that has demonstrated, in addition to the necessary expertise, a profound ability to evolve and innovate” – said Nelso Antolotti. “The combination of the vision, agility and resourcefulness of family capitalism with the professional skills, rigorous approach and stimulating dialogue contributed in recent years by the financial partners, has allowed the Group to mature and grow stronger in order to face the challenges offered by the markets and fully seize the opportunities ahead”.
“The two cornerstones of our investment strategy are growth and support the entrepreneurs in the context of the development and evolution of family businesses” – commented Luca Ravano and Massimo Massari, Italian partners of EDRIP. “The partnership with Nelso Antolotti and the technological excellence of Unitedcoatings have proven to be the ideal platform on which to build a healthy growth project and constitute sound premises for the future development of the Group”.
Lorenzo Baraldi, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, declared: “The investment in Unitedcoatings had the features of a successful operation from the beginning, partnering with a visionary entrepreneur with a solid team of managers and working with state-of-art technologies. Leveraging on these pillars, over the years the Group has been able to expand the sectors served and increase its geographical presence. Thanks to the investments of the recent years, Unitedcoatings will be able to further strengthen its position in the market “.