Ackman-Backed Platform to Buy Chemtura Chemicals Unit

Platform Specialty Products Corp. (PAH), a chemicals company co-founded by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen and backed by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, agreed to buy Chemtura Corp. (CHMT)’s agrochemicals business for about $1 billion.

Chemtura will get about $950 million in cash and 2 million shares of Platform’s common stock, Miami-based Platform said in a statement today. The purchase is expected to be funded through a combination of debt and cash on hand and will close in the second half of the year, it said.

The acquisition is the second to be announced since Platform first sold shares to the public in May. Platform bought closely held MacDermid Group Inc. for $1.8 billion in October. In a conference call to discuss that deal, Platform Chairman Martin E. Franklin, said it planned to acquire a “portfolio” of companies and was targeting makers of chemicals used in oilfield services, adhesives, energy catalysts and water treatment.

The Chemtura unit’s products include insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. Last year it had adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $101 million.

Platform shares have gained 40 percent this year in New York. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP is the largest shareholder in the company with a 28 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Barclays Plc and Lazard Ltd. are Platform’s advisers on the deal and Greenberg Traurig LLP is its legal adviser. Barclays is also providing financing. Morgan Stanley is Philadelphia-based Chemtura’s financial adviser and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is its legal counsel.

To contact the reporters on this story: Simon Casey in New York at; Stephen Cunningham in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at Carlos Caminada

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