UPDATE 1-Stahl in talks to buy Clariant leather services unit
* Clariant would receive 70 mln eur in cash, 23 pct of Stahl
* Deal would lead to savings of more than 15 mln eur at EBITDA level
* Transaction could be finalized in 2014 (Adds detail, background, Stahl CEO comment)
PARIS, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Dutch dyes and coatings company Stahl is in exclusive talks to buy the leather services business of Swiss specialty chemicals group Clariant, Stahl owner Wendel said on Wednesday.
Clariant would receive a cash payment of about 70 million euros ($96 million) and 23 percent of the shares of Stahl, Wendel said in a statement. Wendel would remain the principal shareholder, with about 70 percent of Stahl's capital.
"This transaction would expand Stahl's geographic coverage and its product range," Stahl Chief Executive Huub van Beijeren said in the statement.
"It would strengthen Stahl's leadership position in leather-finishing products, both in terms of its market share and its range of technical solutions."
Clariant is disposing of various businesses as part of a restructuring designed to focus on products that are more profitable and reduce its exposure to areas of the market vulnerable to swings in the global economy.
The leather services unit had sales of 255 million euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 23 million in 2012, French investment group Wendel said.
The purchase would give Stahl total sales of 616 million euros and EBITDA of 77 million, while estimated savings of more than 15 million from the deal should lead to an EBITDA margin of more than 15 percent, Wendel added.
Stahl would also put in place new financing of up to about three times the combined group EBITDA to help it fund growth focused on high-performance coatings, refinance existing credit lines and partly repay shareholder loans, notably to Wendel.
The deal is expected to be finalised next year, Wendel added. ($1 = 0.7262 euros) (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by David Cowell)
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