09 July 2001 00:00 [Source: ICB]
German-based Henkel has confirmed it is in talks to sell Cognis, its chemical speciality unit.
Schroder Ventures, a venture capital company, has emerged as the front runner, according to reports in the Financial Times last week.
Other groups which are believed to have entered bids for the business include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Advent International, and CVC Capital Partners.
Henkel said the sale of Cognis was continuing as planned, but it declined to give details saying it was still too early to give facts and figures on any potential purchase price. The company opened a limited auction for the sale of Cognis in February (ECN 12 February 2000). Investment bank Merrill Lynch is handling the sale.
The disposal of Cognis, which generates about a quarter of the group's revenues, would free Henkel to concentrate on its consumer brands, which include Schwarzkopf hair products.
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