The private equity firm, which bought PQ for $1.5 billion in 2007,
plans to talk to investment banks next week to choose underwriters
for the proposed offering, the people said.
Carlyle will also explore an outright sale of PQ to another firm, in
what is known as a dual-track process, they added, asking not to be
identified by name because the matter is not public.
Malvern, Pennsylvania-based PQ is estimated to have around $300
million in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization and could fetch up to 10 times that amount in a
potential sale, some of the people said.
Carlyle declined to comment, while PQ Corp did not respond to
requests for comment.
The company is a major producer of inorganic specialty chemicals for
industrial and consumer markets, including sodium silicate, silicate
derivatives, catalysts, reflective glass spheres and engineered
After its 2007 acquisition of PQ, Carlyle combined the company with
industry peer INEOS Silicas, a division of petrochemical giant INEOS,
to create a global producer of specialty chemicals, catalysts and
engineered glass products. As part of the transaction, Carlyle
retained a 60 percent stake in the newly combined company and INEOS
In 2011, PQ separated its engineered glass products subsidiary,
Potters Industries, in order to pay down debt under its credit
The company is coming to market at a time when private equity
investors as well as industry buyers have showed strong interest for
specialty chemical assets, driving deal making in the sector.
[to top of second column]
Buyout firm Cinven bought CeramTec, the Germany-based industrial
ceramics unit of U.S. chemicals maker Rockwood Holdings Inc <ROC.N>,
for around $2 billion in June.
In September, Huntsman Corp <HUN.N> bought Rockwood's titanium
dioxide pigments business for $1.1 billion in cash.
Chemtrade Logistics Inc <CHE_u.TO> earlier this month said it would
purchase fellow specialty chemicals supplier General Chemical for
$860 million from private equity firm American Securities LLC.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and
Soyoung Kim in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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