BP has reached an agreement to sell Sericol, the speciality printing chemicals business of Burmah Castrol, to funds managed by Saratoga Partners, a New York-based investment firm specialising in private equity investments.
Sericol will be purchased from Burmah Castrol and its affiliates for £74.5 million in cash and assumed debt. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the companies expect to complete the transaction during the first quarter of 2003.
Sericol supplies printing solutions to the global screen printing industry, with products including premium inks and other consumables.
Its main manufacturing facilities are at Broadstairs, UK, and Kansas City, Missouri, USA and it has other manufacturing operations in Australia, India, China and Brazil. Sericol employs around 1,200 staff worldwide. In 2002, Sericol had a turnover of some £130 million.
Saratoga Partners specialises in making private equity investments in partnership with management in the manufacturing, business services, and media and telecommunications industries. Following the completion of the purchase, Sericol will continue to be led by the existing management team, headed by chief executive Ed Carhart.
Gordon Souter, BP business unit leader Castrol Chemicals, said: ‘When we bought Burmah Castrol in 2000 we knew that, although it was a good business, Sericol did not fit with the rest of our portfolio and that we would look to dispose of it. We believe this deal reflects the true value of the business and will provide a good future for Sericol and its staff.’