AXA sells chemical maker to IK

IK plans to double profits over the next four years at Unipex.

IK Investment Partners, a pan-European private equity firm, will use an undisclosed amount of equity from its €1.68 billion 2007-vintage fund to acquire a chemicals company from AXA Private Equity.

The price to be paid for Unipex Group was not detailed in a statement. Both parties declined to discuss the financial details of the transaction, which is expected to complete by the end of the month. 

A source close to the matter said the deal’s debt-to-equity ratio was 45:55 with a bridge loan provided by Ares Capital and LFPI.

AXA Private Equity bought Unipex for an undisclosed amount in 2008, using its €1.6 billion LBO Fund IV.  Under its ownership revenues have increased to €200 million in 2012, according to a statement. It is unclear how much revenues have increased, as the firm did not immediately respond to PEI’s request for this data. 

Since 2008, the company has extended its geographical reach and product offering, due to organic growth and four bolt-on acquisitions.

“Unipex benefits from high cash conversion and exposure to fast growing underlying markets, such as natural cosmetics,” an IK spokesperson said. He added that Unipex’s different business lines had proven resilient to recession.

“This acquisition fits with IK’s investment criteria and together with the management IK will expand the group’s offering and leverage its market positioning.”

IK plans to support organic and external growth to at least double profits over four years.