£117m international acquisition extends flooring giant’s European presence

Flooring giant Victoria has bought Europe’s leading producer of rugs in a deal worth £117m.

Balta Group, based in Belgium, sold more than £150m-worth of rugs last year in 100 countries worldwide. Victoria has bought its rugs division as well as its UK polypropylene carpet and non-woven carpet businesses.

Kidderminster-based Victoria has announced a further equity investment of £150m with Koch Equity Development, part of the Koch family’s global investment portfolio which has previously put £75m into the flooring business.

Victoria has been on the acquisition trial for a while and has accelerated its strategy this year.

In April it bought two Italian ceramic tile businesses for £30m, spent £50m on Dutch artificial grass and carpets manufacturer Edel in May, then paid £55m for American distributor Cali Bamboo in June.

Philippe Hamers, group chief executive of Victoria, said: “This selective acquisition of two highly complementary businesses will be significantly value creating for Victoria’s shareholders.

“The rugs division has been hugely successful over many years and there are very material operating synergies between the carpet division and Victoria’s existing business. These are both businesses that Victoria already knows extremely well.”

Established in 1964 in Belgium, Balta Group has several operating businesses across different sectors of the commercial and residential flooring industry.

The acquisition is subject to the carve-out of the divisions from the rest of the Balta Group and is expected to complete in April 2022.

The full integration of the division with Victoria’s existing operations is expected to produce savings worth more than £13m (€15m) over the next two to three years.

Balta has chosen to sell the divisions to refocus their activities on their commercial flooring business.

Cyrille Ragoucy, chief executive officer of Balta Group NV, said “Our rugs, residential PP and non-woven businesses have found a new owner with a great operational fit.

“This transaction allows us to focus on our commercial businesses in Europe and the United States and on our European residential PA business by investing in sustainability and growth.”