Lanxess Said to Join Race for $1 Billion Emerald Kalama Chemical

Lanxess AG is among suitors interested in making a bid for private equity-backed Emerald Kalama Chemical, which could sell for around $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Cologne, Germany-based chemicals group is working with an adviser on a possible offer for the specialty chemicals company, which is being sold by American Securities, the people said. Emerald Kalama has also attracted interest from buyout firms HIG Capital, Rhone Capital and TPG, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

Representatives for American Securities, Lanxess, Rhone and TPG declined to comment. Representatives for HIG and Emerald Kalama didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

A sale of Emerald Kalama, which makes ingredients and preservatives used in foods and cosmetics, would mark American Securities’ exit from Emerald Performance Materials, a diversified group it bought in 2014 and has broken up. Dystar Global Holdings purchased Emerald’s polymer additives unit in 2016, while Huntsman Corp. bought the resin-ingredients business earlier this year.

Under Chief Executive Officer Matthias Zachert, Lanxess is on the hunt for acquisitions. The company has as much as 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) to pursue dealmaking, Zachert said on an earnings call in November. Emerald Kalama would fit the CEO’s appetite for a higher-margin specialty chemicals asset. The specialty ingredients business being sold by Switzerland’s Lonza Group AG has also attracted interest from Lanxess, Bloomberg News reported last week.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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