Evonik Industries has reached a deal to sell its methacrylate business to the private equity firm Advent International for $3.4 billion. Included in the transaction are 18 production sites, 3,900 employees, and acrylic sheet and precursor businesses with annual sales of more than $2 billion. The sale, slated to close by the end of September, also includes CyPlus, a maker of sodium cyanide for refining gold. As part of the deal, Advent gets the well-known Plexiglas brand name globally except in the US, where Arkema owns rights to it. A crowded field of more than 24 firms voiced interest in the business, a source familiar with the process says. Advent’s winning bid came from a field that had narrowed by late February to include Ineos, SK Capital, and a consortium of Rhone Capital and Triton. The deal comes just a year after Evonik said it would sell the methacrylate business to concentrate on less cyclical specialty chemicals. The company plans to use part of the proceeds to fund its $625 million pact, reached in November 2018, to purchase the US hydrogen peroxide maker PeroxyChem and to build a $450 million nylon 12 plant in Marl, Germany.