Partners Group, CVC Team Up to Rival Celanese for CeramTec

Buyout firms Partners Group Holding AG and CVC Capital Partners have teamed up against chemicals company Celanese Corp. in the bidding for German technical-ceramics maker CeramTec GmbH, according to people familiar with the matter.

Owner BC Partners has called for next-round bids around July 19 and is seeking a valuation of at least 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified because discussions are private.

Other investment firms and companies have also looked at the asset, the people said. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that BC Partners started exploring options, including a sale or initial public offering, in a deal that could value the business at 3.5 billion euros or more.

CeramTec produces industrial and technical ceramics for the medical, automotive, electronics and chemicals industries, making everything from hip joints to car parts. The company, which traces its roots back to a porcelain factory from 1903, employs more than 3,400 globally and had over 550 million euros in 2020 sales, according to its website.

Private equity firms’ divestments in Europe have risen more than 150% to $70 billion this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. TDR Capital agreed last month to sell Modulaire Group, a designer of modular work spaces, to Brookfield Business Partners LP for about $5 billion.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty talks will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for BC Partners, Celanese, CVC and Partners Group declined to comment.

A consortium led by BC Partners agreed to acquire CeramTec from private equity firm Cinven in 2017. Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan also joined the deal. That acquisition valued CeramTec at about 2.6 billion euros including debt, Bloomberg News reported at the time.

Elsewhere in Germany, BC Partners this month agreed to take a stake in Tentamus Group GmbH amid strong private equity demand for laboratory assets in Europe. The deal values the food and pharmaceutical-testing company at about 1 billion euros, people familiar with the matter said.

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