The American KPS Capital fund acquires a majority holding in Metra

The operation is part of the strategic development plan of the Rodengo Saiano-based group, which intends to seize the opportunities for international expansion offered by the partnership with KPS Capital. The historic shareholders will retain 25% of the company’s capital

The Bertoli, Giacomelli, Marinelli and Zanetti families, founders and shareholders of Metra since 1962, have announced on May 5th the agreement for the sale of the majority of the company’s shares to the US fund, KPS Capital Partners, consolidating its strategic international development plan. The founders will keep 25% of the company’s capital and the transaction is planned for the second quarter of 2021. For Metra, the operation is strategic in several respects, especially for the growth opportunities on foreign markets which a partner of the stature of KPS can offer, as emphasised by CEO Enrico Zampedri: “We are excited about this partnership with KPS because Metra will be in a position of facing the international growth and development challenges with higher momentum. KPS is a consolidated and successful investment fund in the metalworking industry with a demonstrated ability to create value in this sector. Our shared targets include product excellence and quality as well as customer service, the cornerstones of Metra’s decade-long strategy. We also focus on environment protection in addition to workers’ health and safety in full respect of the KPS tradition. KPS’s large financial resources and the wide opportunities its network offer us will help us achieve our objectives much faster”.

Fourth transaction in Europe for the KPS Fund

KPS portfolio companies have a turnover of 10.6 billion dollars, operate 159 manufacturing facilities in 22 countries and employ 34,000 people. For nearly three decades, the Partners of KPS have worked exclusively to acquire and improve businesses which manufacture a diverse array of products across a broad number of industries: raw materials, brandname products, healthcare, automotive parts, plant engineering. The investment in Metra is the fourth operation that KPS has carried out in Europe using the special KPS Mid-Cap Investments fund, which specialises in medium-sized companies with high growth potential, offering them resources, skills and an international network to expand their business. According to rumours reported by the Italian press, KPS intends to invest $60 million in Metra over the next four years to boost production capacity and growth on foreign markets, starting with North America. Pierre de Villeméjane, partner and manager of KPS Mid-Cap Investments, confirmed this orientation in a note issued by the US fund: “Metra is a leading company in its sector and has a successful heritage in addition to many development chances in several sectors and markets still to be exploited. The founding families, along with MD Enrico Zampedri and all Metra’s staff, will do their best to take advantage of all the opportunities for growth through the large sums invested by the company over the last years and the sums we are going to invest in facilities and organization. Metra’s experience and industrial know how, along with KPS’s strategic, operational and financial resources, provide the basis for this partnership’s future growth which will follow an in-house path as well as a strategy of global acquisitions”.

Italian excellence in the extrusion sector

Metra is one of the first non-integrated aluminium extrusion companies in Europe. The company was founded in 1962 by 4 families of entrepreneurs from Brescia, namely the Bertoli family, the Giacomelli Family, the Marinelli family and the Zanetti family and Metra was among the creators of aluminium profile systems for windows and doors in the mid-60s. The company quite rapidly expanded its activities into the field of design and construction of profiles for industrial uses destined for diverse applications. To satisfy precisely the needs of the various sectors, ranging from the building and construction to automotive sector and railway transport, to mechanical engineering, structural applications, Metra, being at the forefront of other privately owned extrusion companies, ahead of its time and remarkably fast in making choices, soon equipped itself with a 6,000-ton extrusion press with great thrust power for the production of large size extrusions. Following a recent reorganization, the distinctive character of the company has come out stronger in the two souls which characterize Metra, that of Building Division for architectural use and that of Industry Division for applications in various industrial fields, with the aim of always making the most of the production capacity of high-quality aluminium extrusions, complete with additional finishing and processing. Maximum diversification for the specificity of the two segments which are different from each other with regards to the type of products and clients but with the same company vision in considering the extrusions as a precious raw product to be enhanced even further with innovative design values in collaboration with the users, in the interests of the company and of the market. Today Metra has over 2,000 active customers and the group has a total of 850 employees, 700 working in its 4 Italian facilities and 150 in Metra’s Canada and USA production sites.
A few months ago in an interview with Alluminio & Leghe (A&L-Aluminium and its alloys, n. 5-October 2020), Enrico Zampedri had spoken at length on the developments of the company and on the good perspectives. With an overall certified production volume in 2019 of around 57,000 tons of extrusions, subdivided in terms of volume between 65% in the Industry Division and 35% in the Building Division, Metra has about a 10% share in the Italian market and over 1.5% share in the European market and it is able to strengthen its share in a decreasing market. Over the 2018-2020 three-year period the group has generated a turnover exceeding 255 million euros and an average EBITDA of 25.5 million euros. Despite the strain imposed by the pandemic in 2020 the corporate results have been satisfactory. So far in 2021 orders have increased by 30% over the three-year period average. Results on which to build a solid path of growth and the partnership with KPS will provide the resources to successfully face international competition.