Platform Specialty Products, the chemical company assembled with much fanfare by investor Martin Franklin beginning in 2013, is splitting into two separate firms: one based on agricultural chemicals and another on specialty chemicals. Franklin, who built Platform with more than $9.4 billion in private equity money, now acknowledges that the firm’s diverse product line is “an impediment to investors’ full appreciation” of its value. His original vision was to build “a portfolio of best-in-class ‘asset-light, high-touch’ businesses.” Platform’s specialty chemical business consists of several assets, the main one being MacDermid Performance Solutions, which Platform acquired for $1.8 billion. Its agriculture operations consist mainly of the off-patent agricultural chemical firm Arysta, acquired for $3.5 billion. Industry reports say Platform decided on the split after it failed to sell the ag operations in early August. Platform says the split should occur sometime in 2018.