Hinduja Group in lead to buy Houghton Intl for $1.1 b

Family-owned Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group is the front-runner to acquire Houghton International, a US producer of metalworking fluids and other chemicals, following a $1.15-billion bid, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The multibillion-dollar global investment and banking group topped offers by private equity firms in the auction for Houghton, sources said. AEA Investors LP, the investment firm that owns Houghton, could still decide to sell to another party or not at all, the sources added.
Representatives of the Hinduja Group, Houghton and AEA did not respond to requests for comment.

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based Houghton makes specialty chemicals, oils and lubricants for the metalworking, automotive, steel and other industries. Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley were hired to advise on the sale process, people familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.

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