Charterhouse in $1.6bn exit

The UK buyout firm will exit its majority stake in acrylics-company Lucite after nearly a decade.

Mitsubishi Rayon will acquire Charterhouse Capital portfolio company Lucite International for $1.6 billion in cash by purchasing 100 percent of the company’s 9.6 million outstanding shares.

London-based buyout firm Charterhouse acquired an 81.6 percent stake in UK-based Lucite for €750 million in 1999.

UK petrochemical company Ineos owns 11.5 percent of the company and Lucite management and employees own the majority of remaining shares.

While under the control of Charterhouse, Lucite’s growth included the development of proprietary technology and new facilities in China. The company’s first plant in Singapore will be operational by the end of 2008.

Mitsubishi’s acquisition of the global acrylic-based products producer is expected to be completed by the end of January 2009. The purchase will make Mitsubishi the global leader in acrylics-manufacturing, according to the company.

Japan-based Mitsubishi is a producer of chemicals, plastics, resins, filaments and fibers and specialty products.

Charterhouse Capital Partners is currently raising its ninth fund, which according to media reports has already held a first close on €3.6 billion. The fund is believed to be targeting €6 billion.