Bloomberg News

Koch Said to Near Deal for CVC’s Flint Group With Goldman

April 08, 2014

Koch Industries Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s (GS:US) private-equity unit are near an agreement to buy printing-ink maker Flint Group from CVC Capital Partners Ltd., people familiar with the matter said.

The deal may be announced as early as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. The purchase price is likely to be more than Flint’s annual sales of 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) last year, one of the people said.

The sale to Koch Industries and Goldman Sachs would mark the end of a years-long attempt by CVC to exit Flint, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the printing and packaging industry. CVC shelved an initial public offering for Flint in 2010 and abandoned another exit attempt in 2012 after private-equity firms withdrew from a bidding process, people close to the talks said at the time.

Representatives for CVC, Goldman Sachs, and Flint declined to comment. Paul Baltzer, a spokesman for Koch Industries, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Flint, which is based in Luxembourg, has about 6,600 employees, according to its website. CVC built the asset from two European ink companies bought in 2004 from BASF SE and Akzo Nobel NV and merged with Flint Ink Corp. in the U.S. a year later to form the enlarged group.

The company makes inks and plates for packaging and print media. While demand for traditional inks for newspapers has waned in Europe, growth in publications in emerging markets has helped bolster sales and profit.

CVC installed new management, appointing Akzo Nobel executive Antoine Fady as chief executive in 2011, and Steve Dryden as finance head last year from U.K. packaging company DS Smith Plc.

Koch Industries, led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is one of the largest closely held companies in the U.S., with interests ranging from energy to fertilizers.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Kiel Porter in London at kporter17@bloomberg.net; Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net Andrew Noel


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