FRANKFURT - Private equity company BC Partners has hired four investment banks to supervise an initial public offering for chemicals distributor Brenntag, several sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

BC Partners has picked Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch to manage the offering planned for the first half of 2010, the sources said.

BC plans to place old and new Brenntag shares worth up to 1.5 billion euros ($2.2 billion), making it the biggest IPO in Germany since mid-2007.

After the IPO, the company (Brenntag) is to climb up into the MDAX quickly, one person said, adding it was unclear what stake BC would ultimately keep in Brenntag.

After a short resurgence in the middle of the year, the market for new listings in Germany dried up recently, forcing IPO candidates -- such as Danish renewable firm Scan Energy and Hochtief Concessions -- to cancel plans at the last minute.

Brenntag, bought by BC Partners for more than 3 billion euros in 2006, had sales of 7.4 billion in 2008, with about 11,000 employees in more than 64 countries.

(Reporting by Philipp Halstrick; Editing by Dan Lalor)

($1 = 0.6790 euro)