JPMorgan Partners exits in Europe

The private equity investor has sold its investment in Vinings in a $138m sale to Finnish trade buyer Kemira.

In a $138m deal, Finnish chemicals group Kemira has bought US-based Vinings Industries, one of the largest suppliers of speciality pulp and paper chemicals in North America. Vinings employs around 340 people and last year recorded sales of $150m.

Kemira believes the purchase from JPMorgan Partners, which was the majority shareholder in Vinings, will increase sales in its pulp and paper chemicals business to more than E500m a year.

JPMorgan Partners bought Vinings from Laporte in 1995, and over the lifetime of the investment has invested $11m in equity capital and another $15m in the form of subordinated debt in the business.

The purchase suggests that life at Kemira very much continues despite failed plans to bring in Scandinavian buyout firm IndustriKapital as a majority shareholder.

Earlier in the month, the Finnish government aborted plans to sell its 56 per cent stake in Kemira to the venture capitalist. The deal collapsed following employee concern over their future in the hands of a private equity owner. IndustriKapital had intended to combine Kemira with its existing portfolio companies Dynea and Sydsvenska Kemi, but the government reneged on the grounds that the deal would have caused “unreasonable inconvenience” for the companies involved.