Advent, Carlyle Said to Weigh Sale of Metals Maker H.C. Starck

The U.S. private-equity owners of German industrials group H.C. Starck GmbH are in the early stages of preparing the company for a sale, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Advent International Corp. and Carlyle Group are seeking to exit the business this year and would like to sell to a strategic buyer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. An adviser is yet to be hired, they said.

The buyout firms have twice attempted to sell or take the Goslar, Germany based company public since acquiring it in 2007 from industrials group Bayer AG for 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion), one of the people said. Starck’s joint ventures in Vietnam and China are now agreed, which may make it more attractive to acquirers, another person said, adding that the company may fetch more than 1 billion euros.

Starck, which has 2,834 employees globally, had sales of 703 million euros in 2013, down from 863 million euros the previous year, according to its website. The company produces metal and ceramic chemicals and coatings for industrial use.

Spokesman for Advent and Starck declined to comment, while a spokesman for Carlyle didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

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