Lonza Group AG has narrowed the list of bidders for its specialty ingredients unit, one of the European chemical industry’s most hotly-contested sale processes, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Swiss company invited suitors including Carlyle Group Inc. and Bain Capital’s consortium with Cinven to make second-round offers, according to the people. Lone Star Funds and Partners Group Holding AG have also progressed to the next round of bidding for the Lonza business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Blackstone Group Inc., CVC Capital Partners and Clayton Dubilier & Rice are no longer in the running, the people said. The unit, which also attracted interest from Advent International and German chemicals group Lanxess AG, could fetch around 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.9 billion), Bloomberg News has reported.
The Lonza business manufactures chemicals for use in everything from paints to crop protection. Its microbial control solutions are also used in professional cleaning products and sanitizers, which have attracted strong demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Shares of Lonza have risen 54% in Zurich trading this year, giving the company a market value of about 40.6 billion francs. No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the bidders will proceed with binding offers, the people said.
Representatives for Bain, Blackstone, Carlyle, CD&R, Cinven, CVC, Lone Star, Lonza and Partners declined to comment.
By Myriam Balezou, Dinesh Nair, and Jan-Henrik Foerster
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?