Totalfina to sell paints unit

Bain Capital and Permira are among a number of private equity houses pursuing the French oil group’s paints unit Sigma Kalon.

French oil group TotalFinaElf has confirmed that it is in continuing negotiations with a number of private equity firms over the sale of its E1bn valued decorative paints business, SigmaKalon.


Atofina, the chemical business subsidiary of TotalFina, denied reports in today’s edition of French national newspaper Les Echos, that it had entered exclusive negotiations with US private equity firm Bain Capital, which recently participated in the E2bn-plus acquisition of Burger King.


Three firms are thought to be in the running to acquire the unit. In addition to interest from Bain, Permira and Swedish firm Industri Kapital are also thought to be preparing offers for SigmaKalon, which is valued at around E1bn. Summer reports suggested that PAI Management, KKR and a consortium of Carlyle Group, Advent International and CDC Equity Partners were also keen on the asset.


Bain Capital has been an active player in the European buyout market in 2002. In  addition to the LBO of Burger King from UK drinks firm Diageo, the US house is in talks French specialty chemicals manufacturer Rhodia over the sale of three chemical units. Bain also recently acquired Jack Wolfskin, a German outdoor clothing manufacturer, for E62m.