Deals round-up: Candover teams up in Germany

Candover has jointly acquired Vestolit from

Degussa-Huls for more than Dm300 million (euros 150 million), investing alongside D George Harris & Associates (DGH&A), a specialist in LBOs in chemicals, minerals and other basic industries. Based in Marl, Germany, the business is one of Europe’s leading providers of polyvinyl chloride (pvc), with sales in

1998 of Dm650 million.

The transaction has been structured with institutional equity provided by a syndicate of investors comprising Candover, DGH&A, Chase Capital Partners, Advent International, and F&C Ventures. Senior debt facilities have been jointly underwritten by Chase Manhattan and Deutsche Bank.

D George Harris, chairman of DGH&A, will be named chairman of Vestolit, which will continue to be run as an independent entity by its existing management team, led by Robert Bonhofen, the president. Colin Buffin, managing director at Candover, will sit on the company’s board of directors.

“This is an industry which is ripe for consolidation and thus presents some excellent opportunities,” says Buffin. “Vestolit’s niche position in the higher margin, less commodity end of the pvc market makes it a very attractive point of entry for us.”