Sal. Oppenheim Joins KKR on Evonik Bid

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Private bank Sal. Oppenheim has joined private equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) [KKR.UL] to bid for a stake in German conglomerate Evonik Industries [RUHR.UL], sources familiar with the matter said.

They said on Friday KKR would continue to lead the bidding process and keep a bigger share of the stake to be sold in Evonik.

KKR and Sal. Oppenheim declined to comment.

Last month, sources said Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), KKR, Bain Capital and CVC were the preferred bidders for a 25 percent stake estimated to be worth around 2 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in Evonik.

Evonik comprises the energy, real estate and specialty chemicals businesses previously held by loss-making RAG. It generated earnings before interest and taxes of 1.35 billion euros last year on sales of 14.43 billion.

The RAG foundation plans to sell between a quarter and a third of Evonik and wants to keep at least 25 percent in the long run, it has said earlier.

It aims to use share sales to raise at least 6.9 billion euros by 2018, funds that will be used to pay for the costs of winding down RAG's coal mining operations. (Reporting by Philipp Halstrick, editing by Will Waterman)