CVC To Buy Distributor Univar For $2.1 Billion | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: July 12, 2007

CVC To Buy Distributor Univar For $2.1 Billion

Private equity buyer promises to fund long-term growth strategy
Department: Business

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has reached an agreement to buy Dutch chemical distributor Univar for $2.1 billion. CVC will pay $73.83 per share for Univar, 37% higher than the firm's closing stock price on Friday, July 6, the day before the two announced their agreement.

CVC says it supports Univar management's strategy to build its distribution business organically and through selective acquisitions. It promises to provide resources to support that strategy, particularly in Europe and Asia. Univar already holds a leading distribution position in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Univar purchased a U.S. distributor, ChemCentral, for $650 million, beating out German rival Brenntag. Including ChemCentral, Univar operates more than 200 distribution centers globally, has annual sales of about $8 billion, and employs 8,000 people.

HAL Holding, a Dutch investment company that owns 27% of Univar and is the distributor's largest shareholder, has agreed to tender its shares to CVC. However, market rumors that Brenntag, controlled by European private equity firm BC Partners, may make a competing bid boosted Univar's shares to close at $75.22 on Tuesday, the day after CVC announced its bid. But under the terms of its agreement with CVC, HAL Holding can't sell its shares to another bidder unless the offer is $5.20-per-share higher than CVC's offer.

Only a few days before the Univar deal, CVC agreed to acquire Taminco, a maker of methylamines and derivatives, for $1.1 billion from Dutch investment firm AlpInvest Partners.

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