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Business

Newcomer Nabs Chemtura Agrochemical Business

by Alexander H. Tullo
April 21, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 16

Chemtura has agreed to sell its AgroSolutions unit to Platform Specialty Products for $1 billion. The AgroSolutions unit is a supplier of seed treatments, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators. It had revenues of $449 million and earnings before taxes of $101 million in 2013. Platform is a relative newcomer to the chemical world. Formed last year as a holding company in specialties, its first deal was the $1.8 billion purchase of specialty chemical formulator MacDermid. Platform is targeting high-growth companies that have a modest asset footprint. Martin E. Franklin, Platform’s chairman, says the Chemtura unit “has many of the same attractive business characteristics as MacDermid.” Platform will continue to purchase agrochemical active ingredients from Chemtura. Leveraging AgroSolutions’ distribution network and global product registrations, Platform hopes to purchase or license active ingredients from other companies. For Chemtura, the sale will help it focus on flame retardants, brominated chemicals, organometallics, petroleum additives, and urethanes. These businesses, Chemtura management believes, are poised for growth.

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