Ontex Says Candover Not Forcing A Sale

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian Ontex, which makes diapers and wet wipes, is under no pressure from private equity owner Candover (CDI.L) to be sold off, the head of the group told Reuters, adding a price tag reported in media was “lousy”.

“They (Candover) are not forcing us in any way to be put up for sale. The business (Ontex) is doing very well, performing very well, very strongly,” chief executive Michael Teacher said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Candover has received approaches from trade buyers for Ontex, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the company as valuing the group at 950 million euros ($1.3 billion).

Candover declined to comment.

“There are always approaches, and now is no different from any other time. But this article is hinting we’re under pressure from Candover to sell, and that’s not fair,” Teacher said.

“They put a lousy valuation on it in the FT anway, so (Candover) wouldn’t sell at that,” he said.

Candover, sorting out its troubled portfolio, agreed to sell research firm Wood Mackenzie to rival Charterhouse for $905 million earlier this month, providing a cash infusion for Candover Investments

By Anne Jolis
(Reporting by Simon Meads and Victoria Bryan in London; Editing by Gary Hill and Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.7143 euro)