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Arkema Starts Sale of 1 Billion-Euro Plexiglass Unit

Myriam Balezou, Dinesh Nair and Andrew Noël
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Arkema Starts Sale of 1 Billion-Euro Plexiglass Unit

(Bloomberg) -- Arkema SA has kicked off the sale of its plexiglass business, which could fetch about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for the French chemical producer, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company has sent potential bidders so-called teaser documents with an overview of the Altuglas International division, according to the people. The sale is attracting initial interest from private equity firms including Advent International, Rhone, SK Capital Partners and Triton Partners, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Altuglas produces polymethyl methacrylate-based plastics, which are used in car parts like headlights as well as building materials. Colombes, France-based Arkema hasn’t decided when to seek first-round bids and could wait until after summer to formally solicit offers, one of the people said.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty the suitors will proceed with bids, the people said. Representatives for Advent, Arkema, Rhone, SK and Triton declined to comment.

Arkema said in April it’s reviewing strategic options for the Altuglas business as it refocuses on higher-margin chemicals. A disposal is the “baseline” scenario, though talks with potential buyers would only happen after the coronavirus pandemic passes, Chief Executive Officer Thierry Le Henaff said on a conference call at the time.

The company has been considering potential asset disposals after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. built up a small stake, Bloomberg News reported in February. While Le Henaff is credited with overhauling Arkema over the past 14 years, the transformation hasn’t been reflected in the company’s stock price. Its shares are down 14% this year, giving Arkema a market value of 6.3 billion euros.

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