PPM, Montagu sell €345m chemicals asset

Private equity firms PPM, Montagu and MB Funds have agreed to sell Finnish Chemicals to trade buyer Kemira Oyj after eight years of holding the investment.

A syndicate led by PPM Ventures, the private equity arm of UK-based insurer Prudential, has sold Finnish Chemicals to Kemira Oyj for €345 million

The consortium, which also comprises European mid-market firm Montagu Private Equity and Finnish private equity firm MB Funds, acquired Finnish Chemicals in 1996 for 1.050 billion Finnish Markka (€176 million; $225 million).
 
The company produces pulp chemicals including sodium chlorate, sodium borohydride and chlor-alkali. Over the last eight years, its backers have grown the company organically, built new plants to increase capacity and widened its line of products. The company also made a $96 million add-on acquisition in 2000.
 
Today Finnish Chemicals operates three production facilities in Finland and two in the US, and last year generated revenues of €180 million. In a statement, PPM said the company had generated almost four times its original investment.
 
The private equity firms were advised on the sale by Macfarlanes, SKMP Limited and Gargoyle Partners.
 
PPM manages more than €2 billion of funds and operates in London, Munich, Paris and Sydney. Its recent investments include the $575 million acquisition of Pharmacia Diagnostics from Pfizer Inc and the $312 million acquisition of Sterigenics International from Ion Beam Applications.
 
Recent exits include the £178 million sale of Oxoid Group Holdings to Fisher Scientific International last year, and the £1.24 billion sale of Gala Clubs to Candover and Cinven in 2003.