Astorg puts French calcium aluminates company Kerneos up for sale

Astorg has put French calcium aluminates company Kerneos up for sale, a move which could fetch the European private equity firm around €1 billion ($1.1 billion), Reuters yesterday reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

Investment bank Lazard has been appointed to work on the sale.

Private equity firms Advent, Cinven and Triton are among the interested buyers and a sale could be announced in the coming weeks, he report said.

Kerneos has annual earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization of around €100 million and the sale could fetch about 10 times that figure, the report added.

Astorg had acquired Europe's largest exporter of monohydrate bauxite Kerneos in 2013 from its French peer Wendel in a €610 million deal.

Kerneos is a leading manufacturer of calcium aluminate cements (CAC).

CACs are mineral binders obtained from the reaction between lime and alumina at high temperatures. CACs are predominantly used in building chemistry where they are key ingredients in products for floor preparation systems, tile adhesives and technical mortars for their fast hardening and drying, and in the insulation of furnaces and ladles in industries that operate high-temperature equipment for their high resistance to heat, mechanical wear and corrosion.

A former division of specialty chemicals group Materis, Kerneos sells its products in 100 countries and generates half of its turnover in Europe, while the rest is evenly split between the Americas and AMEA.

Kerneos has 11 production facilities worldwide, including an applications laboratory in India, employs 1,500 employees and generates annual sales of €416 million.