October 6, 2010 / 6:39 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-AAC to sell chemical distributor IMCD -sources

* Deal follows Brenntag sell-down, Univar stake swap

* IMCD recently expanded with Warwick deal in Wales

* Brenntag sales multiple would imply 550 mln euro tag (Adds details on loans, employees, clients, possible value)

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - AAC Capital, the former private equity arm of Dutch bank ABN AMRO, is looking to sell IMCD, the Rotterdam-based chemical distributor with nearly 1 billion euros in revenue, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The Dutch investor has hired UBS as an adviser, and the process is at an early stage, the people added.

A spokesman for AAC had no immediate comment. An IMCD spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a telephone call and an email request for comment after usual business hours.

IMCD, owned by AAC since 2005, has 800 staff in 31 countries and 925 million euros ($1.3 billion) in revenues, according to an Aug. 30 press release.

Its clients include specialty chemicals companies, such as Wacker Chemie AG (WCHG.DE), and producers of ingredients used to make food and drugs.

The potential deal underscores a pickup in private-equity activity involving chemical sector companies.

    A month ago Clayton, Dubilier & Rice took a big stake in Univar NV [UNIV.UL], another Dutch chemical distribution firm which is owned by CVC [CVC.UL].

    And last week investors led by BC Partners [BCPRT.UL] sold down their stake in Germany’s Brenntag (BNRGn.DE), after floating the 3.2 billion-euro company in March.

    Brenntag trades at an enterprise value (EV) of about 0.6 times annual sales, according to Starmine data -- a multiple that would imply a value of about 550 million euros for IMCD.

    In August IMCD expanded by buying specialty chemicals businesses from privately held Warwick International Group Ltd, adding about 80 million euros in annual revenues.

    In 2007 AAC recapitalised IMCD with 345 million euros of new loans, according to Thomson Reuters Loan Pricing Corp -- a move that typically allows a financial backer to pay itself a dividend. ($1=.7219 Euro) (Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Erica Billingham and Robert MacMillan)

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