Carlyle Is Said to Weigh Options for $3 Billion Nouryon Unit
(Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group Inc. is considering options for the industrial unit of its specialty chemicals firm Nouryon, which could be valued at $3 billion or more, according to people familiar with the matter.
The U.S. private equity firm is speaking with potential advisers about separating the industrial business, which produces chemicals used in everything from vehicles to swimming pools, from the wider group, the people said. Carlyle could later opt for a sale or initial public offering of the asset, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.
Any disposal of the industrial unit could be a precursor to an eventual exit from Nouryon by Carlyle, one of the people said. Deliberations are in the early stages, and no final decisions have been taken, according to the people. A representative for Carlyle declined to comment. A representative for Nouryon wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The value of deals in the European chemicals industry has risen 73% this quarter to $5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with a number of large players looking to prune non-core assets. Lonza Group AG has narrowed the list of bidders for its specialty ingredients unit, which could achieve a value of around 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.9 billion). Clariant AG and Arkema SA are among others seeking to sell off units, Bloomberg News has reported.
Carlyle acquired Netherlands-based Nouryon from Akzo Nobel NV in a 10 billion-euro leveraged buyout in 2018. The company posted revenue of about 5 billion euros in 2019 and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 1.1 billion euros, according to its website. It employs about 10,000 people in more than 80 countries.
Nouryon’s chlor-alkali segment has the advantage of a captive market via pipelines that deliver the corrosive chemicals it produces directly to clients. That helps support margins and cash flow and could make the industrial unit a strong listing candidate if a buyer doesn’t step forward.
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