BUDAPEST Oct 9 Hungarian chemicals firm
BorsodChem [BDCD.UL] said its lenders want private equity owners
Permira [PERM.UL] and Vienna Capital Partners to keep a majority
stake in the company, potentially scuppering rival plans by
China's Wanhua Industrial Group.
BorsodChem, which is in the middle of a debt restructuring,
added that chemicals firm Wanhua may become a minority equity
holder but any cooperation should be discussed only later and
must be based on contractual agreements typical in the industry.
"In a meeting with senior lenders ... the Senior Steering
Committee of the senior syndicate expressed its strong support
of the current management of BorsodChem and its expectations
that the current management continues to operate BorsodChem
after the implementation of the debt restructuring plan," the
"Permira Funds and Vienna Capital Partners should remain
majority shareholders, as was made clear by the banks,"
The lenders' support for British fund Permira could thwart
plans by Wanhua, the largest isocyanate producer in Asia
Pacific, to become a long-term strategic investor and push out
Permira, BorsodChem's biggest owner. [ID:nL1486992]
Permira has said it is not planning to sell BorsodChem for
at least another 3-4 years and could not back Wanhua becoming a
However, Wanhua, according to press reports, has bought up
most of BorsodChem's mezzanine, or junior, debt, which has
subordinated claims over the company's assets.
Once the firm comes to a deal with creditors, it must also
agree with mezzanine creditors about a restructuring and a delay
in this process could put the firm, one of the largest employers
in eastern Hungary, in a difficult position.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by Simon Jessop)