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BC, Bain, GS sell down stake in German chemical giant Brenntag

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Brachem Acquisition, the investment vehicle managed by private equity firms BC Partners, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs, has sold a further 8.7 per cent stake in German chemical distribution group Brenntag.

The €315m accelerated bookbuild, in which the vehicle placed 4.5 million shares at €70 each and sold them to institutional investors, will reduce the consortium’s stake to 27.3 per cent.

Shares in Brenntag plunged 3.3 per cent following the news, the largest intraday fall since November 2010, according to Bloomberg data.

The move follows a €500m divestment by BC Partners in January 2011, when the firm placed shares at €71.50 each, which brought Brenntag’s freefloat to 64 per cent.

BC Partners remained Brenntag’s largest shareholder following the sale, and subsequently entered a new lock-up period of 180 days, precluding any further sell-offs until the second half of the year.

Brenntag went public in March 2010, raising €748m through the German listing. The company’s shares were priced at €50 each at the time of the listing.

BC Partners acquired the company from US firm Bain Capital for around €3bn in 2006, and has expanded its presence in Australia, South Africa and Indonesia since then.

The company is a distributor of industry chemicals such as solvents, acids and lye, posting global sales of €6.4bn in 2009.

News reports today also confirmed that Bain Capital, CVC and Nordic  Capital are currently reviewing the financials of private equity-backed Ahlsell, a Swedish company that supplies products to the construction industry, in a sale which could fetch about £1.5bn.

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