MacDermid Said to Hire Lazard for Possible Sale of British Unit

MacDermid Group Inc. (MRD), owned by Court Square Capital Partners LP, is considering the sale of a U.K. unit supplying coatings used on Fiat SpA and Alfa Romeo dashboard buttons, said people familiar with the transaction.

The sale process is in the initial stages and potential buyers of Autotype have been contacted, according to three people, who declined to be identified because the plan is not public. The Wantage, Oxfordshire-based unit has annual sales of about $80 million, one of the people said. Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) is acting as an adviser to Denver-based MacDermid.

The coatings-and-paint industry is in the midst of realigning, with a total of $11 billion in mergers and acquisitions announced since mid-2012, according to Bloomberg analyst Jason Miner. Following a 2006 management buyout, Court Square Capital Partners has about 69.9 percent of MacDermid’s common stock, with Weston Presidio owning 16 percent.

MacDermid doesn’t publish financial results for the business. Representatives for the company and Lazard declined to comment.

Autotype’s origins date back more than 140 years, when Joseph William Swan, inventor of the incandescent light bulb, filed a patent on his photographic imaging process. The company moved beyond gelatine coated materials from the 1970s, and was acquired by MacDermid almost a decade ago.

Any disposal would follow an attempt by MacDermid to sell shares in the group to the public. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Leever took the company private for about $1 billion in 2006, with Lazard also advising on that transaction. MacDermid generated sales of $728.8 million in 2011, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $150 million.

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