Carlyle-backed company sells division to Close Brothers

The UK bank’s private equity division has augmented its chemicals portfolio, backing the £129m management buyout of Warwick International.

Close Brothers Private Equity has backed the £129 million (€159 million; $232 million) management buyout of chemicals company Warwick International with a £55 million investment.

The division was purchased from US conglomerate Sequa, which was in December 2007 taken private by The Carlyle Group in a $2.7 billion deal. This is the first of Sequa’s six business divisions to be sold since the Carlyle acquisition.

Carlyle managing director Adam Palmer said in a statement the divestiture “is consistent with Carlyle’s original strategy for Sequa, which was to evaluate its entire portfolio of businesses and divest or restructure certain non-core assets in order to re-shape and focus the business”. It aims to focus on Sequa's largest division, Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corporation.

Financing for the Warwick deal was led by The Royal Bank of Scotland and included funding from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, Barclays and HSBC.

Headquartered in Mostyn, North Wales, Warwick has annual revenues exceeding £180 million and has a speciality chemical manufacturing division that services the global laundry detergents market, CBPE said. The company also has a network of niche chemical distributors in Europe and Asia.

Paul Lupton, Deloitte’s head of corporate finance for the north, said in a statement that Warwick had attracted a good deal of interest from both private equity and strategic buyers, but that CBPE was selected in part due to its industry expertise.

CBPE has been targeting the chemicals sector for the last decade, having invested in companies including Chance & Hunt, Aroma & Fine Chemicals and BWA Water Additives.

Mathew Hutchinson from CBPE will join Warwick's board, along with Sandy Dobbie who will become non-executive chairman.