GEO Specialty Chemicals Said to Hire Nomura to Help Seek Buyer

GEO Specialty Chemicals Inc., a U.S. additives maker, hired Nomura Holdings Inc. to help find a buyer, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

First-round bids from about 15 interested parties, including private-equity firms and chemical companies, were submitted this month, one of the people said.

GEO, the privately held maker of additives for car paint, water treatments and cosmetics, generates about $40 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and may fetch about $280 million based on an estimated multiple of about seven, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

GEO, based in Cleveland, Ohio, has used acquisitions to grow after exiting Chapter 11 almost a decade ago. It purchased a U.K. factory supplying lacquers and automotive finishes from BASF SE in 2011. GEO’s value may be hampered by capital expenditure needs, one of the people said.

An official at GEO wasn’t immediately available for comment. An official at Nomura declined to comment.

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