Platform to Buy Chemical Maker MacDermid for $1.8 Billion

Platform Acquisition Holdings Ltd., the investment company founded by Martin E. Franklin, agreed to buy closely held MacDermid Group Inc. for $1.8 billion and said it plans to acquire more specialty-chemical makers.

The purchase of Denver-based MacDermid should close this month and Platform plans to move its share listing from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange by year-end, the Tortola, British Virgin Islands-based company said yesterday in a statement. It also plans to rename itself Platform Specialty Products Corp., or PSP.

Franklin, Platform’s chairman, plans to acquire a “portfolio” of specialty-chemical companies that emphasize customer service and have relatively few factories, he said on a conference call today. Platform is targeting makers of chemicals used in oilfield services, adhesives, energy catalysts and water treatment for future acquisitions.

“MacDermid is a natural choice to serve as the initial investment and foundation for Platform Specialty Products,” Franklin said in the statement.

Platform plans to retain MacDermid managers, with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Leever to become PSP’s vice chairman and CEO, and Chief Financial Officer Frank Monteiro remaining as CFO.

Deal Funding

British-born Franklin and investor Nicolas Berggruen listed Platform in London earlier this year, attracting Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP and BlackRock Inc. as shareholders.

MacDermid, founded in 1922, had $742 million in revenue in the past 12 months and $180 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Platform said. MacDermid’s CEO and private-equity firms Court Square Capital Partners LP and Weston Presidio took the company private in a 2007 buyout valued at $1.3 billion, including debt assumption.

Today’s transaction is expected to be funded through proceeds from Platform’s previously completed initial public offering, an amendment of MacDermid’s existing first lien term debt and proceeds from a warrant exchange offer to be carried out by Platform.

Barclays Plc acted as financial adviser and Greenberg Traurig LLP acted as legal adviser to Platform. Lazard Ltd. was MacDermid’s financial adviser.

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