Swedish chemicals company Sydsvenska Kemi AB is selling its moldable thermoset compounds business, Perstorp Compounds, with plants in Europe and the United States, to a firm set up by senior Perstorp manager Anders Lundin.
The compounds business, which has sales of some 350 million Swedish kronor ($43.8 million) and a 200-strong workforce, operates three production offshoots: Perstorp AB in Perstorp, Sweden; Perstorp Chemitec SpA in Castellanza, Italy, and Perstorp Compounds Inc. of Florence, Mass. They serve the sanitaryware and electrical sectors.
The sale coincides with an announcement by Sydsvenska Kemi's parent, Scandinavian venture capital firm Industri Kapital, that it plans to divest the remainder of Perstorp in a secondary buyout to investment firm PAI Partners of Paris.
Details of that deal were not released, but it is reported to be worth about $1 billion including debt.
Perstorp Compounds' buyer, Raytor Holding AB, was established for the acquisition by Lundin, its chief executive officer and chief shareholder. Lundin plans to resign his post as president of Perstorp's materials technology division.
``The company's strong balance sheet will enable it to improve its competitive position going forward,'' Lundin said.
Lennart Holm, president and CEO of Perstorp AB, confirmed the disposal represents another step in Perstorp's aim to concentrate on its specialty chemicals business.
In April, Perstorp sold the thermoset compound units of Ghent, Belgium-based Vyncolit NV and Vyncolit North America, based in Manchester, Conn., to Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd. of Tokyo for about $106 million. In 2004, the two businesses had annual sales of about $88 million.
PAI Partners, which earlier this year acquired the 29 mainly European plants of the global plastic containers business of Crown Holdings Inc. of Philadelphia, said it plans to fund continued Perstorp expansion.
``The strategy is to implement a significant investment program to meet demand,'' which is growing quickly, said a PAI spokeswoman. Her firm targets market leaders in niche markets.
Perstorp recorded a 14 percent rise in sales last year to about $863 million and expects annual sales growth of as much as 10 percent in the next few years.