FRANKFURT Koch Industries KCHIN.UL and Goldman Sachs's (GS.N) private equity arm are acquiring the world's leading maker of printing-inks Flint from buyout group CVC CVC.UL, the four companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The deal values Flint at more than 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) and will cut its debt, enabling it to acquire competitors in coming years, two people familiar with the transaction said.
"We want to grow Flint organically, but also with acquisitions and already have a list of potential takeover targets," said Martin Hintze, Goldman Sachs's co-head of Corporate Equity Investing in Europe.
The Luxembourg-based group makes just over half of its profit in the packaging industry, while inks for the printing industry account for the rest.
As demand for ink to print newspapers and magazines declines, the new owners want to shift Flint's focus increasingly towards packaging.
Koch, which is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, and Goldman Sachs have agreed to reduce Flint's debt by 20 percent from the current roughly 1.8 billion euros and have secured better terms for the remaining debt, Hintze said.
The sale comes after several unsuccessful attempts by CVC to sell the company over the last couple of years.
In 2013 Flint, which has roughly 6,600 staff and has annual sales of 2.2 billion euros, saw earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rise by 5 percent to about 325 million euros. ($1 = 0.7234 Euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hübner; Editing by Erica Billingham)