Exclusive: Centerbridge eyes $3.5 billion sale of KIK as bleach demand soars, sources say

(Reuters) - Buyout firm Centerbridge Partners LP is exploring a sale of KIK Custom Products Inc in a deal that could value the North American manufacturer of household cleaning products at more than $3.5 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would come at an opportune time for Centerbridge to exit. KIK has seen a spike in demand for bleach, as consumers snap up disinfectants to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centerbridge has hired Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.S and Barclays Plc BARC.L to run an auction process for KIK, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter is confidential.

KIK has 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $350 million, the sources added.

Centerbridge, Credit Suisse and Barclays declined to comment. Executives for KIK did not immediately respond to a requests for comment.

KIK’s products span household cleaning supplies, as well as pool and auto care. Founded in 1993, the company sells private label supplies that are then used by other companies under their own brands.

Centerbridge acquired KIK in 2015 for $1.6 billion from CI Capital Partners. The Concord, Ontario-based company’s growth accelerated after former Crosby Group Chief Executive Jared Knudson took over as KIK CEO in late 2018, one of the sources said.

KIK last month agreed to sell its personal care business to Voyant Beauty Holdings.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky