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PQ files for IPO

12:33 PM MST | February 14, 2014 | Vincent Valk

Private-equity backed PQ Corp. today filed for an initial public offering (IPO) that could be worth up $450 million, according to US regulatory documents. The company, a maker of silica products and catalysts, was taken private in 2007 in a $1.7-billion deal. The Carlyle Group (New York), a private equity firm, owns 50.6% of PQ, while Ineos owns 33.7% of the company.

According to regulatory filings, PQ recorded $1.08 billion in sales during 2012, down 3.6% from 2011, with 2012 net income totaling $5.2 million, compared with a $65.4 million loss in 2011. For the first nine months of 2013, the most recently available data, PQ’s sales totaled $835.8 million, up 0.5% year-on-year (YOY), while net income totaled $18.3 million, down 12.5% YOY. The company has three operating units – performance chemicals, catalysts and specialty glass materials. The performance chemicals unit, which comprises most of PQ’s silicas businesses, is the largest of the three, with 59% of annual sales.

In December, reports said that Carlyle was considering either a sale or IPO of PQ, estimating that sale of the company could fetch as much as $3 billion. CW first reported on rumors of an IPO for PQ in 2011.

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