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