Atofina, the chemicals division of Franco-Belgian oil and gas group TotalFinaElf, has confirmed the sale of its European decorative paints business, SigmaKalon, to US private equity firm Bain Capital.
The disposal is part of a plan launched by Atofina in 2000 for the sale of assets worth E1.5bn by 2003.
French newspaper reports last week suggested that Bain and Atofina had entered into exclusive negotiations over the sale of SigmaKalon, with Permira, Industri Kapital, PAI Management, KKR and a consortium of Carlyle Group, Advent International and CDC Equity Partners all having expressed an interest in the business.
Neither Bain nor Atofina have confirmed the sale price, although it is thought to be valued at around E1bn. SigmaKalon is boasts a leading position in Europe in the decorative paints sector as well as a major presence in the marine, anti-corrosion and industrial paints markets.
Since 1984, Bain Capital has completed over 150 equity investments with the aggregate transaction value of these investments now exceeding $18bn. The firm has been investing in Europe since 1989 and has become an active bidder in buyouts from French corporates. The firm is currently in talks with French chemicals company Rhodia over the sale of its intermediates chemical units for around E140m.
Bain has been involved in several large deals in the past year, including the E2.2bn acquisition of Burger King from UK drinks firm Diageo, made from the firm's US fund. The firm's European activity has focussed on the French and German markets. In late August the firm acquired outdoor clothing manufacturer Jack Wolfskin for E64m from Johnson Outdoor. The firm is also in competition with US rival Carlyle Group and Swedish firm Industri Kapital to acquire German automotive parts business Edscha for around E250m.