Reuters – Becker Underwood Puts Itself on the Block

Privately held agrochemicals company Becker Underwood has put itself up for sale and could bring in more than $1 billion, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The company, which is majority-owned by private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners, has hired boutique investment bank Greenhill & Co to advise on the sale, according to the sources. The auction is in the second round and could attract both strategic and private equity bidders, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – Privately held agrochemicals company Becker Underwood has put itself up for sale and could bring in more than $1 billion, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

 

The company, which is majority-owned by private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners, has hired boutique investment bank Greenhill & Co to advise on the sale, according to the sources.

 

The auction is in the second round and could attract both strategic and private equity bidders, they said.

 

Two of the sources said that Norwest is hoping the company will bring in more than 11 times 2012 EBITDA, and that this valuation could scare off some private equity bidders.

 

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing process.

 

Becker Underwood and Norwest could not be immediately reached for comment. A Greenhill spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

 

Becker Underwood specializes in seed coatings and other technologies that improve yields or protect crops. The company has 14 locations in five countries and says its products can be found in more than 70 countries.

 

Minneapolis-based Norwest bought its majority stake in the company in 2004. The private equity firm’s other investments include language learning software company Rosetta Stone and chemicals distribution firm Univar. (By Michael Erman and Greg Roumeliotis)