Quick chemical exit for Gilde

French mid-market firm AXA Private Equity has acquired over 70% of the shares of German specialty chemicals company CABB from Dutch buyouts house Gilde in a secondary buyout just 15 months after buying the business.

The management team of CABB, which owns the remaining 30% of the stock, is seeking to grow the business, aiming for a 50% rise in revenues over the next five years, and sees AXA’s backing as crucial if they are to achieve this target. Ruud de Boer, managing director of CABB, said: “We wish to expand into new markets. In AXA Private Equity, we have found a partner who will support us in this undertaking not only in financial terms, but also through know-how and their well-established network.”

CABB is headquartered in Sulzbach/Taunus, south-western Germany, and produces a range of chemicals used in the PVC, pharmaceutical, agrochemical and personal care industries. It has a strong presence in Europe, North America and South America, and is a global leader in the production of monochloroacetic acid (MCAA). With AXA’s backing the company seeks to expand into Asia and strengthen its position in the US market.

Gilde acquired CABB in June 2005 from Clariant, the Swiss specialty chemicals group which was undergoing a large divestment plan to rid itself of non-core businesses. Clariant (Acetyl Building Blocks), as it was known then, was Clariant’s MCAA business. When it was acquired by the Gilde Buyout fund for €48m it was reporting sales of €114m. CABB expects sales of €140m for the current year.