Bloomberg News

TFL Said to Seek Final Bids End of April Amid Strategic Interest

March 09, 2012

TFL Holding GmbH’s creditors will seek second-round bids for the German leather-chemicals supplier at the end of April to give time for suitors in Asia to evaluate the company and fine-tune offers, three people familiar with the situation said.

The asset has attracted interest from private equity as well as manufacturers seeking to enter the leather-chemical industry, said the people, who declined to be identified because details are private. Rival suppliers BASF SE (BAS), Clariant AG (CLN) and Lanxess AG (LXS) are not in the process, the people said.

Efforts to consolidate among European suppliers of leather chemicals have been hampered by low valuations. BASF abandoned the sale of its leather and textile unit in March after offers fell short of the company’s valuation. Competition from low-cost producers in Asia is coinciding with a slowdown in demand in some markets for leather bags and shoes. TFL may fetch bids of as much as $264 million, other people with knowledge of the situation have said.

Officials at TFL, BASF and Lanxess declined to comment. Spokespeople at Clariant weren’t immediately available.

The deadline for submitting binding bids may slip to accommodate more recent entrants to the sale process who still need time to review the company and its debt situation, the people said.

Stahl Holdings BV, owned by Paris-based buyout firm Wendel SA (MF), is also a competitor of TFL’s. Spokeswoman Odila Sibrijns wasn’t immediately available to comment.

TFL, which stands for Together For Leather, is being sold on behalf of creditors seeking debt repayments taken on under the ownership of private equity firm Odewald & Cie. Andreas Ziegenhagen is the trustee overseeing the sale, advised by Leonardo & Co. Odewald bought TFL, which has annual sales of about 240 million euros, from Permira Advisers LLP in 2003 for an undisclosed price.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Noel in London at anoel@bloomberg.net; Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net


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