Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, Paris, confirms that it has recently signed an agreement to sell its subsidiary Saint-Gobain Terreal to a financial company controlled by the Carlyle investment fund. Under the agreement, Terreal — a terracotta tile and brick manufacturer — is valued at €514 million (of which 400 million is for the value of the shares). The expected completion date for the sale is October 31, 2003, provided the required approval is received from the European Commission competition authorities.

A major player in the French tile market, the Terreal group was born out of the merger of Guiraud, Tuiles Lambert and Tuiles et Briques de France (TBF). Sales in 2002 for the group totaled €328 million. Terreal also operates in Italy under its San Marco Laterizi brand, in Spain through Saint-Gobain Terreal Espana (formerly Ceramical del Ter), in the United States through Ludowici, and in Malaysia.

Terreal has over 2,000 employees based at 22 tile and brick production sites of varying sizes, including over 1,500 employees at 14 sites in France.

Against the backdrop of increasing consolidation in the European terracotta tile and brick market, Saint-Gobain has chosen the Carlyle investment fund as the partner to support Terreal in its growth drive. The management team of Terreal will invest in the transaction. This will enable Terreal to ensure its long-term development without the need for funding from the Saint-Gobain Group, whose acquisition strategy remains focused on its Building Materials Distribution and High-Performance Materials sectors.