Buyout firms eye Swiss chemicals

Market talk of private equity drives Clariant’s shares to new high and also lifts Ciba’s shares Clariant, the listed Swiss specialty chemicals, saw its shares rise by almost 10% to a 52-week-high of SFr22.20 in early trading on February 13.

The jump on the traditionally stable Swiss stock exchange followed market speculation that private equity firms were looking into a takeover of a Swiss chemicals group.

Clariant currently has a market capitalisation of SFr4.6bn (US$3.5bn).

Meanwhile, Clariant’s Swiss peer Ciba also saw its shares rise, by about 3% to SFr85.60, valuing the company at SFr5.7bn (US$4.36bn).

Swiss Sunday paper SonntagsZeitung reported that a private equity house had conducted due diligence at Clariant, and named CVC Capital Partners and Permira as potential bidders.