GS Group could pay $1bn for AEA portfolio company Houghton

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Buyout house AEA Investors is considering selling metalworking fluids and chemical management company Houghton to GS Group, it is understood.

The South Korean conglomerate could part with more than $1bn for the US business, which AEA picked up in December 2007.

GS could make the deal through its GS Energy Affiliate, Reuters reported local newspaper the Korea Economic Daily as saying.

AEA’s mid-market private equity team currently manages more than $3.6bn of invested and committed capital, and focuses on buying businesses headquartered in the US and Europe.

It is expected to hit a $2bn hard cap for its fifth buyout vehicle within the next few weeks, having reached a $1.5bn third close in June.

The firm, which is one of the oldest buyout houses in the world, has been raising AEA Investors Fund V since September 2011.

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