Carlyle and ONG invest in Dutch chemicals

Global private equity house Carlyle and Dutch buyout firm Oranje-Nassau Groep have stumped up €160m to acquire Dutch specialty chemicals business Stahl from Investcorp in a €520m transaction.

The Carlyle Group and Oranje-Nassau Groep (ONG), a Dutch investor owned by France’s Wendel Investissement, have acquired Netherlands-based surface effects specialist Stahl Holdings.

Carlyle and ONG invested approximately €160 million ($205 million) on an equal basis in a €520 million transaction.

ONG and Carlyle were advised by Fortis, BredinPrat, Slaughter & May and NautaDutilh on the transaction.

The vendor was Bahrain-based Investcorp, which sold its entire holding in Stahl after acquiring the business in a €375 million transaction in December 2001.

In December 2003, Investcorp carried out a €250 million recapitalisation of Stahl, enabling the firm to return approximately one-third of its original capital investment.

Founded in 1914 and based in the Netherlands, Stahl is a developer, manufacturer and distributor of specialty chemicals for niche markets in leather processing, flexible material coatings, paper and industrial colourants. The company operates through nine manufacturing sites and 26 technical service laboratories, employing over 1,400 personnel.

Carlyle said that it made its investment in Stahl through its second European buyout fund, Carlyle Europe Partners, which closed on €1.8 billion in 2005.

Stahl is the eleventh investment from the vehicle, and the second in the chemicals sector, following Carlyle’s acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials, a Swiss specialty chemicals manufacturer for the flat panel display and semiconductor industries, in a €338 million transaction in September 2004.

Oranje-Nassau Groep of the Netherlands was formed in 1893 as a coal-mining company and now invests in and manages interests in energy, real estate and private equity. In January of this year, the firm acquired a minority stake in AVR, the Netherlands’ largest waste management firm. CVC Capital Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts took majority stakes in the €1.4 billion transaction.