Saratoga inks $230m deal

The New York private equity firm has agreed to sell ink manufacturer Sericol for $230m, double what it paid for the business in 2003.

The New York-based private equity firm Saratoga Partners has agreed to sell portfolio company Sericol, a manufacturer of specialty printing inks, to Japanese imaging company Fujifilm for approximately $230 million (€176 million).

Saratoga bought the business almost two years ago from a subsidiary of British Petroleum in a transaction valued at approximately $115 million. The initial deal was reportedly funded with $45 million of equity at a purchase price under five times EBITDA.

Since the acquisition, Sericol’s revenues have grown from approximately $200 million in 2002 to approximately $260 million in 2004. Christian Oberbeck, managing director of Saratoga Partners, noted that Sericol has been a very good investment for the firm.

Sericol represents the second realization for Saratoga Partners IV, a $250 million fund that closed in 1999. In May 2003, the private equity firm sold point-of-sale systems provider Datavantage for $52 million in a deal that generated a return of four times Saratoga’s initial investment. Following the Sericol transaction, the fund will have returned more than 50 percent of its capital back to investors.

Founded in 1984 as the merchant banking arm of New York investment firm Dillon Read, Saratoga Partners has managed four buyout funds totaling more than $750 million in committed capital. The firm, which became independent in September 1998, has invested in 33 companies with an aggregate value of $3.7 billion.