Arkema‘s sale process for its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) business Altuglas International appears to be fluid with bidders working off different timelines, sources familiar with the situation said.
The sale process is in the midst of a second round with most suitors – primarily financial sponsors – conducting due diligence off an unstructured timeline for bids, four sources said.
But, while some parties tabled bids in the initial rounds, others that did not bid have continued to be active participants and are conducting diligence on Altuglas. In that sense, it is a “fluid” process, two of the sources said.
The sale process has been “slow playing” since the initial round, as the seller took a while to get back to parties about their further participation, three of the sources said.
Some management meetings have been conducted with a few suitors, two sources said, while at least one interested party was given access to the data room this week and asked to work towards a binding bid in the next few weeks.
In late September, this news service reported that the French specialty chemicals company was set to collect non-binding bids for the PMMA unit, which makes plastic-based components used in car parts such as headlights.
Arkema held discussions with a narrow group of financial sponsors with experience in the space over the summer and interested suitors were asked to submit bids off a limited amount of information that Arkema’s financial advisor Morgan Stanley provided them, as reported.
Clearlake Capital, Rhone Group, SK Capital and Advent International are among the financial sponsors that continue to be around the process, the four sources and a fifth source said. Lone Star is also circling the asset, two of these sources said, with one of them noting that Charlesbank Capital Partners is also around it. French financial sponsor PAI Partners was also around the sale process, as reported.
SK Capital is keenly interested in the PMMA unit as it was the runner-up bidder during German chemical group Evonik’s sale of its PMMA unit, as reported. Evonik ultimately sold its PMMA unit to Advent in 2019 for EUR 3bn.
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by Bhavna Kaul in New York, and Ryan Gould and Will Mace in London