KKR acquires Vestar’s Selenia

KKR is to acquire Italy-based FL Selenia SpA from Vestar Capital Partners in a tertiary buyout valued in excess of €835m. The transaction is subject to regulatory clearances.

Vestar Capital Partners acquired the business from Doughty Hanson in September 2003 for €670m. Doughty Hanson acquired FL Selenia from a division of Fiat in April 2000. The sale to Vestar Capital represented a 2.4 times return on Doughty Hanson’s investment and a gross IRR of 30%.

Selenia, based near Turin, Italy, is an independent producer of branded automotive lubricants and other functional fluids. Its product range includes lubricants, anti-freeze, transmission and engine fluids for automobiles, trucks, tractors and earth moving equipment as well for marine and industrial applications. Founded in 1912 as a division of Fiat Auto, its well known brands include Selenia, Paraflu, VS, Ambra and Tutela. The company serves about 19,000 customers through its sales network and reaches over 150,000 consumers worldwide through its distributors including Blu Officina, an Italian network of automotive repair shops.

Selenia conducts its business worldwide and generates annual revenues in excess of €550m.

KKR will finance the acquisition with debt facilities fully underwritten by Mizuho Corporate Bank and HVB. Legal advisors to Vestar Capital Partners were Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners and Kirkland and Ellis. Legal advisors to KKR were Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.