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Business

Platform Specialty Buys Alent For $2.3 Billion

Acquisition: Latest deal bolsters electronics businesses

by Marc S. Reisch
July 13, 2015

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Credit: Shutterstock
The acquisition of Alent will bring Platform more materials used by printed circuit board fabricators.
20150713lnp3-circuitboard.jpg
Credit: Shutterstock
The acquisition of Alent will bring Platform more materials used by printed circuit board fabricators.

Platform Specialty Products has reached a $2.3 billion deal to acquire U.K.-based Alent, a maker of specialty chemicals and engineered materials for electronics, automotive, and industrial applications.

Cervian Capital, a private equity firm that owns a 22% stake in Alent, has agreed to support the deal, which is expected to close by early 2016.

The acquisition augments electronics and related materials businesses Platform has already acquired, including MacDermid, its first acquisition, and OM Group’s electronic materials and photomasks operations, which it is in the process of buying.

Martin E. Franklin, founder and chairman of Platform, says the latest acquisition “marks a further step in the Platform strategy of building a portfolio of best-in-class ‘asset-lite, high-touch’ businesses in the specialty chemicals industry.”

Franklin started Platform in early 2013. He has rapidly purchased other specialty chemical assets with a modest manufacturing footprint, including three agricultural chemical formulators: Arysta LifeScience, Agriphar, and Chemtura’s AgroSolutions business.

The purchase of Alent, until 2012 the electronic materials division of Cookson Group, brings Platform two divisions: One is a supplier of electroplating chemistries; the other is a producer of electronic interconnect materials, such as solder. In 2014 the two operations racked up combined sales of $413 million and an operating profit of $157 million.

Platform says synergies created by combining Alent with its existing businesses will allow it to save $50 million annually within three years of the transaction’s completion.

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