Bank of America Merrill Lynch is looking for private equity firms interested in buying Huntsman Corp., the chemical company founded by failed Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman’s father, according to Reuters.
Do you know who is rumored to be extremely interested in the Huntsman buyout? Bain Capital (yes, that Bain Capital).
“Bank of America Merrill Lynch has pitched the company, which has a market value of about $2.8 billion and has nearly $4 billion in debt, to several private equity firms across the country, including Bain, KKR & Co, Advent International and Warburg Pincus,” National Journal reports.
We have Huntsman Corp. to thank for these. Well, women do at least.
“The decision as to which firm the company goes to is in part up to the elder Huntsman, who fueled his son’s presidential ambitions through several large donations,” the report adds.
Huntsman Corp., which was founded in 1970 by Jon Huntsman Sr., is currently run by Peter Huntsman. The the largest shareholders of the company, with nearly 20 percent of its shares, is still the elder Huntsman and his family.
The takeover of Huntsman Corp. has been something of an on-again-off-again project dating back to 2007 when Apollo Global Management LLC’s Hexion Specialty Chemicals unit was supposed to buy the company for $6.5 billion.
That was in 2007. What else happened in 2007? Oh, that’s right: An economic crash. Apollo ended up bailing on the deal — but not before paying out $750 million to Huntsman Corp. for walking away from their agreement.
But despite interest from famed private equity firms like Bain, Huntsman Corp. may find itself in another Apollo situation.
“Huntsman may prove to be too big for a private equity firm to swallow whole on its own,” according to Reuters.
“Bankers who have looked at the company suggest it would take an equity check of up to $2 billion and would require a consortium of as many as three private equity firms, which would complicate any deal,” the report adds.