Bain to sell off Novacap

(Reuters) – Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital is set to kick off the sales process for French chemical company Novacap shortly, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

According to the company’s website, Novacap has annual sales of around 500 million euros. The business includes soda ash and bicarbonate minerals, phenol and acetone petrochemicals, and acid distribution.

Bain Capital bought Lyon-based Novacap from France’s Rhodia (RHA.PA) in 2002. In June, Novacap completed a 130 million-euro ($174 million) debt refinancing to pave the way for a sale.
“It’s not going to be an easy sale,” said one potential buyer.

Some of Novacap’s businesses such as soda ash and bicarbonate minerals have suffered during the recession, a London-based analyst said.

Bain Capital, which has $64 billion in assets under management, also tested the water for a possible sale of its electronic connector business, FCI, which has an enterprise value of more than 1 billion euros, several sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Bain Capital had no comment. ($1=.7461 Euro)
(By Nina Sovich and Julien Ponthus, Editing by James Regan)