Soros spin-off completes first deal

TowerBrook Capital Partners, the private equity firm formerly known as Soros Private Equity, has completed its first deal since being spun out of the Soros empire in April.

TowerBrook Capital Partners has refinanced portfolio company PolymerLatex, the German latex producer, in a €215 million ($260 million) deal, according to a Reuters report that quoted “a source familiar with the situation”.

The refinancing is understood to have paid out €70 million to equity holders while replacing €76 million of senior debt and €70 million of vendor loans with €215 million of senior secured debt and a €30 million revolving credit facility. The refinancing was led by ‘various banks’, which have not been identified at this stage.

It is believed that improved performance and margins at PolymerLatex have allowed TowerBrook to add debt to the business without increasing the level of gearing, and to have made 1.9 times its initial investment without diluting its holding.

Latex: TowerBrook can’t get enough of the stuff

Marl-based PolymerLatex is Europe’s third-largest latex producer, serving the paper, carpet and moulded foam markets from its production facilities in Finland, Germany, Italy and the UK. Soros Private Equity acquired the business from its joint owners Bayer and Degussa in a €235 million transaction in March 2003.

Soros Private Equity was spun out of Soros Fund Management, the alternative asset vehicle of famed currency speculator George Soros, earlier this year. The re-named TowerBrook has €1.3 billion in assets under management and operates from two offices in London and New York.

The firm’s 21-strong investment team is headed in London by co-CEOs Ramez Sousou and Patrick Smulders and in New York by co-CEO Neil Moszkowski. Portfolio companies include Swiss cable communications provider Cablecom, Irish telecom company Eircom and US healthcare provider WellCare.