Alpha buys Safic-Alcan from MG

Germany’s MG Technologies has sold Safic-Alcan to French buyout house Alpha Group and family investment vehicle Daniel Lebard Management Development (DLMD).

French private equity firm Alpha Group has acquired a unit of MG Technologies’ Solvadis chemicals trading business for an undisclosed sum alongside a family investor.

Paris-based Safic-Alcan, which is a subsidiary of Solvadis, specialises in the global trading of natural products including rubber, palm oil and latex and in the distribution of speciality chemicals. The firm posted sales of E971m in the fiscal year 2001/2002 and employed 334 people at the end of September 2003. It accounts for around 75 per cent of Solvadis’ total turnover.

The transaction, which takes retrospective effect from January 1 2003, is subject to approval by antitrust and statutory bodies.

The deal is part of MG’s plans to sell the whole of Solvadis as well as speciality chemicals unit Dynamit Nobel, which has attracted interest from the likes of CSFB Private Equity, CVC Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and is expected to fetch around E2.5bn.

MG decided to divest its chemicals businesses in order to focus on growing its plant engineering and construction activities through acquisitions in Asia and the US. Since removing former CEO Kajo Neukirchen and launching its restructuring in April, MG has seen its share price more than double.

Alpha Group, which is active is France and Germany, manages funds of over E1bn and has been investing in buyouts for 18 years. Earlier this week it reduced its stake in Loxam, the French construction plant leasing company, while fellow investor Advent International sold its 21 per cent stake.

Paris-based DLMD is owned by the Lebard family and holds investments in the logistics and food industries.