Oaktree explores sale of wood preservative maker Osmose -sources

Thu Feb 6, 2014 6:59pm EST

By Soyoung Kim

NEW YORK Feb 6 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Oaktree Capital Group LLC is looking to sell Osmose Holdings Inc, which makes wood preservation chemicals and also provides services to railroads and utilities, in a deal that could value the company at close to $900 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Deutsche Bank AG is advising Oaktree on an auction for Osmose that is already under way, four people said this week. They asked not to be identified because the matter is not public.

A sale would mark a relatively quick exit for Oaktree, which bought Osmose in May 2012. Financial terms were not disclosed at that time.

The company has roughly $100 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), according to the people familiar with the matter. Two of them said the company could be sold for around eight to nine times its EBITDA.

Another wood protection business is also on the block. Swiss specialty chemicals maker and life sciences group Lonza has said it is exploring options for its wood treatment business, including a sale.

Two people familiar with the matter said Lonza is being advised by Credit Suisse Group, and the business could be worth up to $300 million.

Oaktree, Osmose and Lonza could not be immediately reached for comment. Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

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