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Sale process for Triton's Ruetgers Group gets underway

Triton has started a sales process for Ruetgers Group, a Germany-based manufacturer of chemical raw materials made from coal tar, according to market sources. Goldman Sachs is advising.

The incumbent private equity firm bought Ruetgers from Evonik Industries in late 2007, in a buyout supported through a €259 million, all-senior financing. Mediobanca arranged the facilities, which saw 11 banks join the syndicate.

Ruetgers’ EBITDA is now roughly €100 million, sources said. At this level, the firm is large enough to support a bond for a fresh buyout, which sources suggest could be the favoured option for sponsors looking to buy into the cyclical chemical industry, since it would come with incurrence-only covenants.

Switzerland-headquartered Ineos, for example, is currently refinancing its senior facilities on a cov-lite basis through a new loan-and-bond package, while earlier this year Apollo funded the buyout of Belgium-headquartered speciality firm Taminco through a $905 million loan-and-bond package, also on a cov-lite basis. European loan investors’ cautious approach to cov-lite loans meant both these loans were U.S.-led, and a Europe-only cov-lite loan might be a tough sell.

In terms of recent European-led chemical buyout financings, last year saw Axa PE lead the buyout of Novacap, which was supported though an oversubscribed €209 million senior loan. – David Cox/Ruth McGavin