Hercules Incorporated will sell a 51% interest in FiberVisions to Snow, Phipps & Guggenheim, L. P., an affiliate of SPG Partners, LLC ("SPG"), a New York-based private equity firm. Under terms of the agreement, Hercules will receive an initial cash distribution of $109 million at closing for its 51% interest. SPG has an option to purchase an additional 14% interest in FiberVisions for $7.4 million. Also under the agreement, Hercules will receive additional payments should FiberVisions meet certain performance measures.
"Our decision to sell a majority stake in FiberVisions reflects our strategy to invest in growth opportunities in our Aqualon and Paper Technology franchise businesses, reduce earnings volatility and further delever our balance sheet," said Craig Rogerson, president and chief executive officer of Hercules. "We will maintain a significant minority position in FiberVisions to share in the profitability upside as raw material costs moderate and new products under development are commercialized.
Paul Chellgren, former Chairman and CEO of Ashland, Inc. and an exclusive Operating Partner of SPG, will become non-executive chairman of FiberVisions once the transaction closes.
FiberVisions is the leading global producer of specialty fibers for nonwoven fabrics and textile fibers used in consumer and industrial products. It also is the global leader in the marketing of bicomponent specialty fibers through ES FiberVisions, a joint venture with Chisso Corporation.