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TFL Said to Start Sale With First-Round Bids Due This Month

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- TFL Holding GmbH’s creditors have set a Feb. 24 deadline for initial bids for the German leather-chemicals supplier, two people familiar with the situation said.

A wide range of potential buyers have expressed interest in the Weil am Rhein, Germany-based company, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information is private. Creditors are seeking a buyer for the whole business, rather than breaking up TFL, the person said. TFL may be valued at as much as 200 million euros ($263 million).

Efforts to consolidate among European suppliers of leather chemicals have been hampered by low valuations. BASF SE abandoned the sale of its leather and textile unit in March after offers fell short of the company’s valuation. Competition from low-cost producers in Asia is coinciding with a slowdown in demand in some markets for leather bags and shoes.

TFL, which stands for Together For Leather, is being sold on behalf of creditors seeking debt repayments taken on under the ownership of private equity firm Odewald & Cie. Andreas Ziegenhagen, the trustee overseeing the sale, hired adviser Leonardo & Co. last year to find a buyer for the company, three people said in December.

Other leather-chemical makers in Europe include Clariant AG, Lanxess AG and Stahl, owned by French buyout firm Wendel SA.

Odewald bought TFL, which had annual sales of about 240 million euros, from Permira Advisers LLP in 2003 for an undisclosed price.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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