The private equity investor has asked investment banks to pitch
for roles in an initial public offering which is expected to
take place in New York next year, two of the people said, while
another person said a German IPO was also a possibility.
Carlyle declined to comment.
Atotech, a Berlin-based maker of speciality chemicals and
equipment for printed circuit boards and semiconductors, posted
adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization of $329 million on sales of $1.2 billion last year.
Carlyle bought Atotech in 2016 at an enterprise value of $3.2
billion or 12 times its core earnings.
The investor would likely seek a valuation of at least 13-14
times Atotech's expected core profit of up to $400 million, or
roughly $5 billion, two of the people said.
U.S.-listed peers such as Cabot Microelectronics <CCMP.O>,
Entegris <ENTG.O>, Quaker Chemical <KWR.N> and Versum Materials
<VSM.N> trade at 11-15 times their expected core earnings.
"For Carlyle, it's about taking some money off the table and
using a window of opportunity ahead of a potential correction of
stock markets," one of the people said, adding that the deal
could take place in the second quarter, based on 2018 earnings.
Earlier this year, Atotech increased its debt by $500 million to
pay its owners a special dividend of the same amount.
While a listing is seen as the most likely exit route, Carlyle
will also consider potential bids from chemicals groups or other
investors, the people said.
At the time of Carlyle's buyout, peers such as Umicore <UMI.BR>
and Sinochem <600500.SS> showed interest in the firm which is
specialized in metallization, panel plating and corrosion
Atotech, which was founded in 1993 through a merger of Elf
Atochem M&T Harshaw and Schering’s <BAYGn.DE> electroplating
division, employs more than 4,000 staff. Elf Aquitaine was later
renamed Total after it merger with Totalfina, and it agreed to
sell Atotech as part of a $10 billion asset disposal program.
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Keith
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