An employee pours a sample into a test tube in the control laboratory at a blending plant in Torzhok, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

New Mountain Is Said to Weigh IPO for Chemicals Maker Avantor

(Bloomberg) -- New Mountain Capital is considering an initial public offering in 2019 for its chemical-materials maker Avantor Inc. according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The New York-based private equity firm is also considering options for Avantor that could include refinancing its debt, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Avantor’s equity could be worth about $8 billion in an IPO, one of the people said.

The company has about $9.4 billion in total debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives for New Mountain and Avantor Declined declined to comment.

Avantor is the successor to Covidien Inc.’s specialty chemicals arm, which New Mountain acquired in 2010 for $280 million. New Mountain backed Avantor’s $6.4 billion purchase last year of lab supplier VWR Corp.

Based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Avantor makes high-purity acids, extra-durable silicone and other compounds for laboratories and manufacturers. Its advanced technology arm provides "space-grade" materials to NASA and the European Space Agency, according to its website.

Avantor’s corporate history stretches back to at least 1904, when John Townsend Baker formed J.T. Baker Chemical Co., according to the company’s website. A chemistry student, Baker started making his own chemicals because the ones he was using in class weren’t pure enough to get accurate results. Avantor still sells several products under the J.T. Baker brand.

New Mountain, founded in 1999 by Chief Executive Officer Steven Klinsky, raised $6.2 billion for its latest buyout fund last year, according to a press release.

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