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Private equity investors cash out of Brenntag

by Jonathan Braude  |  Published July 6, 2012 at 3:02 PM
Buyout firms BC Partners Ltd. and Bain Capital LLC and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Friday, July 6, sold the last of their holding in German chemicals distributor Brenntag AG, leaving the Frankfurt-listed company with a 100% free float.

The private equity trio, which invested in Brenntag through their Luxembourg holding company Brachem Acquisition SCA, raised a final €611 million ($751.58 million) from the share placement, more than two years after the initial public offering of March 2010.

In Friday's operation, the PE firms sold their remaining 6.87 million shares, or 13.3% of Brenntag's share capital, at €89 a share, in an accelerated bookbuilding process executed by Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs.

Including the IPO, which priced at just €50 a share, Brachem has raised a total of €2.89 billion from selling shares in the company, most recently in a €577.5 million placement in February.

Brenntag itself raised gross proceeds of €525 million from new shares sold in the IPO. Since its initial listing, the company's market capitalization has increased by around 84%.

The Brachem vehicle is 80% owned by BC Partners, which has made about 3 times its original investment. The private equity firm first bought control of Brenntag for €3 billion in a secondary buyout from Bain in 2006. Bain itself bought the company from German state railway operator Deutsche Bahn AG, together with its steel trading unit Interfer Stahl AG, for €1.4 billion in 2004. Bain declined to comment on its returns.

Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany-based Brenntag, which Deutsche Bahn originally carved out of logistics group Stinnes AG, is today the global market leader in chemical distribution and operates a global network with more than 400 locations in 68 countries. In 2011 it generated sales of €8.7 billion.

London-based BC Partners announced the final closing of its latest €6.5 billion fund earlier this year.

Tags: Bain Capital LLC | BC Partners Ltd. | Brachem Acquisition SCA | Brenntag AG | Deutsche Bahn AG | Deutsche Bank AG | Goldman Sachs Group Inc. | Interfer Stahl AG | IPO | private equity

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