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Polynt-Reichhold owner picks Morgan Stanley for $1.8 bln sale -sources

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MILAN/FRANKFURT, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Italian buyout fund Investindustrial has picked Morgan Stanley to work on the sale of Polynt-Reichhold in a deal that could value the specialty chemicals firm at up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion), two sources familiar with the matter said.

"The sales process is slated to kick off in the coming weeks. It could be a deal for the first-quarter," one of the sources said.

Investindustrial, headed by Italian businessman and founder Andrea Bonomi, took indirect control of Polynt back in 2008 and then more than tripled its revenues with the Reichhold tie-up.

The company, based close to the northern Italian town of Bergamo, provides specialty, intermediate and composite chemicals to a range of industries including the transportation, construction, medical and food additive markets.

It operates globally with a strong presence in Europe and North America and has over 2 billion euros in annual revenue.

"It's going to draw interest not just from industry names but private equity with the know-how and skills like Cinven or Apollo," the first source said.

The second source said that with 2019 core earnings of just short of 250 million euros it could be worth up to 1.5 billion euros.

Investindustrial and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8264 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)