Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is set to acquire Belgian chemicals company Taminco for around 1.2 billion euros ($1.56 billion), sources close to the deal said on Thursday.
Taminco is owned by CVC Capital Partners, which put the company up for sale in September. Goldman Sachs was mandated to run the hotly contested sales process.
CVC and Apollo declined to comment.
Apollo's bid was well ahead of its rivals, two sources close to the deal said, and is due to sign shortly. Bain Capital and Pamplona Capital Management also submitted final bids for the company.
Buyout houses Advent International, Carlyle Group, Rhone Capital and TPG and trade buyers including chemicals, fibres and plastics manufacturer Eastman had also expressed interest earlier in the process.
The leveraged buyout is likely to be backed by around 800 million euros of debt. Apollo may tap U.S. investors as liquidity remains scarce in Europe due to the sovereign debt crisis. Taminco has dollar earnings.
CVC withdrew an IPO for Taminco in January 2010 after failing to reach an indicated price range of up to 420 million euros due to unfavourable market conditions. In July Lanxess walked away from talks to buy Taminco after failing to agree a price, the German rubber chemicals group bid around 1 billion euros.
Ghent-based Taminco, which makes chemical building blocks for crop protection, animal feeds, water treatment and drugs, was spun off from Belgian drugmaker UCB in 2003 and was bought by CVC in 2007 for 800 million euros backed by 679 million euros of debt, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.