Ardian to Explore Sale of Austrian Chemicals Asset ESIMBy
Potential bidders have been sent information ahead of disposal
ESIM may be valued at as much as EU400 million in sale process
Ardian SAS is exploring a sale of Austrian chemical maker ESIM, which could be worth about 400 million euros ($490 million), according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Preliminary information on the maker of ingredients for crop-protection chemicals has been sent to potential bidders to help generate interest, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is private. Paris-based buyout firm Ardian is working with an adviser on the potential disposal, they said.
A spokesman for Ardian declined to comment.
ESIM, formerly a unit of Royal DSM NV, has a site in Linz where it manufactures so-called fine chemicals, ingredients and additives used widely in agrochemicals to animal feed. Acquired in 2015, ESIM is one of a string of chemical investments by Ardian’s 2.5 billion-euro mid-cap fund including Germany’s CABB and Italmatch of Italy, which remains in the portfolio.
Fine-chemical makers have suffered since farmers reduced spending on crop protection following a decline in prices. Monsanto Co. Chief Operating Officer Brett Begemann said on Jan. 4 that the corn-growing season in the U.S. has had a slow start to the year, while farmers have been delaying decisions on applications of fertilizers.
ESIM generates about 40 million euros in full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, said the people.