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Wendel’s Materis Hires BNP Paribas, Rothschild for Parex Sale

Wendel SA, France’s largest publicly traded investment firm, hired banks to sell a division of Materis SAS in an effort to reduce the building material company’s debt.

Wendel will work with BNP Paribas SA and Rothschild to help sell Materis’s mortar division Parex Group, Frederic Lemoine chairman of Wendel’s executive board said in an earnings conference call today. The sale will help reduce Materis’s 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) of debt.

Materis’s refinancing effort started last year when the Paris-based company extended its debt maturity and tried to sell its aluminates division Kerneos SA. Under last years debt agreement if Materis is unable to find a buyer its first debt maturity will be in June 2015 instead of September that year.

Wendel received “marks of interests from financial and industrial investors” for Parex, Lemoine said in the conference call. The sale may be finalized in the first half of 2014, aims at tackling Materis’s debt.

Wendel bought Materis for about 2 billion euros in 2006, with lenders led by BNP Paribas providing 1.97 billion euros of loans, Bloomberg data show.

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