RLPC-Triton gets renewed interest in Ruetgers - sources

LONDON Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:57am EDT

LONDON Oct 10 (Reuters) - Nordic private equity firm Triton's plan to take a dividend out of its German chemicals firm Ruetgers has been put on hold after renewed interest from trade buyers, banking sources said on Wednesday.

Triton was close to issuing a high-yield bond for Ruetgers in September to pay itself a dividend, the sources said.

Triton, which declined to comment, put Ruetgers up for sale earlier in the year with Goldman Sachs running the process. Talks around the sale stalled and Triton considered the dividend deal instead.

Investor Pamplona, which was in advanced talks to buy the business for more than 600 million euros ($774 million), is no longer interested, several bankers said.

Indian group Himadri Chemicals also expressed an interest in the company in March.

There has been no decision about a sale as Triton and potential buyers are still evaluating a price, one source said. So, the dividend deal remains an option for Triton.

"It is a process that could go either way", the source said.

There has been a recent rise in private equity dividend deals - known as dividend recapitalisations from 2006 buyout boom times - as banks seeks new ways to generate fees after a lack of takeover activity in the past quarter.

Triton acquired Ruetgers, which makes chemicals from coal tar, in 2008. ($1 = 0.7754 euro) (Reporting by Isabell Witt; Additional reporting Arno Schuetze; Editing by Dan Lalor) (isabell.witt@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 1886; Reuters Messaging: isabell.witt.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)