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Private Equity

Fumigation Chems Maker Douglas Returns to Block

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Published: May 2nd, 2023
Altamont Capital Partners has stuck with Evercore and put the fumigation chemicals supplier back on the auction block, The Deal has learned.

Altamont Capital Partners is braving an eerily quiet market to relaunch a sale process for its fumigation chemicals business Douglas Products LLC, five sources familiar with the matter said.

The firm has stuck with Evercore Inc. on the exit effort, the sources said. What’s left of Douglas Products — after Altamont sliced off wastewater services business Duke’s Root Control Inc. from the platform in a December sale to Comvest Partners — generates around $30 million in Ebitda, the people said.

Books have been out on Liberty, Mo.-based Douglas for the past several weeks, and initial indications of interest are expected to be due in early May, one of the sources suggested.

The process is expected to attract private equity and strategic interest, with one source noting there were several bidders interested in the fumigation and agriculture chemicals business of Douglas Products during a 2021 auction process run by Evercore that came before Altamont broke off Duke’s Root.

The Deal revealed the Douglas process was underway in late 2021, but reported that the auction was shelved by early 2022 in an effort to separate Duke’s Root. Evercore began reengaging potential Duke’s Root buyers in the summer.

The former pest control unit of German agrichemicals giant Bayer AG, Bayer Environmental Sciences, was previously pegged by sources as a potential buyer for Douglas Products. Bayer sold the business, which has been quoted at around €200 million in Ebitda and €600 million in sales in years past, to European PE shop Cinven Partners LLP in March 2022 for $2.6 billion. Cinven beat Brookfield Asset Management, CVC Capital Partners Group and Apax Partners LLP to pick up the business, The Deal previously reported.

A multiple north of 10 times for Douglas Products is not out of the question, a second of the sources said, but a multiple into the teens may be harder to fetch now then it was for chemicals businesses exploring sales in 2021, given the dislocation of the market and a widening bid-ask spread.

The original version of this article was published April 18, 2023, on The Deal’s premium subscription website. For access, log in to TheDeal.com or use the form below to request a free trial.

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