CVC Capital Partners, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group have also expressed an interest in Germany-based CeramTec according to one Bloomberg source, who said information was being sent out to potential buyers this week.
A second source said the asset could sell for up to $1.7bn, just over ten times the company’s EBITDA of $173m on sales of $548m for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012.
Rockwood chairman and CEO Seifi Ghasemi confirmed to Bloomberg that he had hired Lazard to explore options for the business, which also makes products for the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors, and the company’s additives unit.
Rockwood’s share price was up 8.2 per cent at one point today compared to last night’s closing price, and was trading at $61.41 per share at 12.19pm EST, giving the company a market capitalisation of about $4.77bn.
The chemicals company was formed by private equity giant KKR in 2000 and taken public in 2005.
Last month KKR partners Todd Fisher and Brian Carroll resigned from the Rockwood board after the firm sold all but 1.2 per cent of its stake in the business.
Both men had been on the board since the company was created.
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