June 5, 2019 / 10:58 AM / 21 days ago

Advent wins auction for Italian chemicals firm ICE - sources

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Private equity fund Advent has entered exclusive talks to buy Italian chemicals firm Industria Chimica Emiliana (ICE), two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Advent trumped several rival buyout funds, including Bain Capital and Astorg, in an auction process, emerging as the preferred bidder for the 70-year-old firm, the sources said.

The deal values ICE at about 600 million euros, one of the sources added.

The family-owned firm is a leading producer of bovine and swine bile derivatives for the pharmaceutical industry and has core earnings of about 60 million euros.

It hired PWC earlier this year to sound out potential investors.

Based in the central Italian town of Reggio Emilia, ICE has operations in Brazil and across South America where it collects ox-bile to produce cholic acid, which is used by drugmakers to treat liver conditions.

The business, which is wholly-owned by the Bartoli family, had revenues of about 115 million euros in 2017.

Advent declined to comment while ICE was not immediately available to comment.

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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