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Triton Said to Hire Goldman for Sale of Chemicals Unit Ruetgers

December 01, 2011

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Triton Beteiligungsberatung GmbH, a private equity firm that focuses on European investments, is weighing the sale of its coal-tar chemicals business Ruetgers Group, two people with knowledge of the process said.

Triton, which acquired the unit in 2008, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise on the sale of the Zelzate, Belgium- based company, said the people, who declined to be identified because the matter is confidential. Financial information on Ruetgers is not publicly available.

Ruetgers, which distills coal tar to make chemicals used in aluminum production, is Europe’s No. 1 coal-tar distiller and may appeal to a private equity firm or strategic buyer, the people said. Ruetgers’ competitors include Koppers Inc. of the U.S. and Himadri Chemicals & Industries Ltd., which is backed by Bain Capital LLC.

Representatives for Ruetgers and Triton weren’t immediately available for comment. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Ruetgers, whose origins date back to 1847, employs about 1,000 and is led by Chief Executive Officer Henri Steinmetz.

Triton was among buyout firms that pursued Evonik Industries AG’s carbon-black business, which was sold this year to New York-based buyout firm Rhone Capital LLC for about $1.3 billion.

Koppers, which had 1,729 workers in 2010, had sales of $1.25 billion and operating profit of $99 million.

Bain acquired a stake in Himadri in 2010 and has sought to expand in styrene through the purchase of Dow Chemical Co.’s styrene unit, and has pursued talks to buy TowerBrook Capital Partners’ latex unit.

--Editors: Jacqueline Simmons, Benedikt Kammel

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Noel in London at; Aaron Kirchfeld in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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