TPG Mulling Sale of Vita Group
TPG Said to Explore Sale of Foam Rubber Manufacturer Vita Group
TPG is exploring the sale of foam rubber maker Vita Group, which the private-equity firm acquired for about $1.25 billion in 2005, according to people familiar with the situation.
The buyout firm is working with Jefferies Group LLC as it considers a disposal, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The plans are at an early stage and a sales process could start toward the end of the year or early next year, they said. Representatives for TPG and Jefferies declined to comment.
TPG is considering selling the asset after overhauling management, selling some assets and expanding the company further into eastern Europe. Vita’s origins date back to 1949 and a foam-rubber cushioning factory in Oldham, England. The company later expanded into carpet underlays, mattresses and car parts, and listed on the London Stock Exchange as British Vita.
A financial restructuring in 2009 helped reduce debt to about 100 million euros from more than 600 million euros, in exchange for ceding an equity stake in the group to lenders. TPG remained the largest shareholder with control of the board. The business is led by Joe Menendez, a former executive of French building materials company Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA.