Solvay, Innophos Auctions Progress Amid Tepid Chems Start
Belgian chemicals maker Solvay SA has a few bidders in tow as it heads toward the second round of an auction process for its oilfield chemicals unit, which came to market in the fall, four industry sources suggested.
Based on the timing of the process so far, management presentations are presumed to be underway, and second-round bids are expected to be due between early and mid-February, the sources said. The U.K. desk of BofA Securities Inc. is handling the sale and provided feedback on first-round bids, which were due between early and mid-December, just ahead of Christmas, two of the sources said.
After teasing the process ahead of Labor Day and initially contacting some 40 potential buyers in the early fall, BofA ultimately sent out around 30 confidential information memorandums, or CIMs, in November, those two sources said. A handful of initial indications of interest came back, and it is understood that BofA is working with two to three interested parties as the process progresses, sources said.
One firm thought to be sniffing around the business in the middle stages of the process is European investment firm Aurelius Group, the two sources added. Meanwhile, sources also see the potential for involvement from oilfield chemicals industry veteran William Frost, who led Chemlogics Group LLC, the business that Solvay purchased to form its oilfield chemicals unit, prior to the sale. Frost could court One Equity Partners LLC, which invested in Chemlogics in 2011, or other firms to help financially back the deal, some of the sources suggested.
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