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North-East site included in £3.1bn DuPont deal
US CHEMICAL company DuPont is set to sell its performance coatings division, including its North-East manufacturing site, to a global asset management group.
The Carlyle Group have signed a purchase agreement with DuPont, who make Teflon, to buy DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC), which employs 60 people in Darlington, for £3.1bn cash.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter next year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
DPC employs 11,000 people worldwide and is a global supplier of vehicle and industrial coating systems, with 2012 sales expected to exceed £2.5bn.
It is not yet know how jobs at the Darlington site will be affected by the sale. Carlyle have indicated they will be looking to accelerate the company's growth in emerging markets such as Brazil and China.
The investment will be funded with equity from Carlyle Partners V and Carlyle Europe Partners III.
DuPont chairwoman and chief executive Ellen Kullman said: "DuPont Performance Coatings is a leader in the automotive and industrial coatings sectors with world-class products and customer service.
"The business continues to grow and deliver solid results. After a careful review, however, we have determined that DPC's full growth potential would be best realized outside DuPont and through the sale to Carlyle.
"This transaction is consistent with our vision to be the world's most dynamic science company and long-term strategy of driving competitive advantages in agriculture and nutrition, advanced materials and biotechnology, which represent high-growth, high-margin opportunities."
DPC operates manufacturing sites on six continents, serving customers in 120 countries directly and through 4,000 distributors.
Greg Ledford, Carlyle managing director and head of the industrial and transport team, said: "DuPont Performance Coatings is a successful business with attractive market positions, next-generation technology and established brands.
"Through targeted investments we will support DPC's product development and growth objectives as it transitions to a stand-alone company. We look forward to working with management to fully realize DPC's great potential."
Gregor Boehm, managing director and co-head of Carlyle's Europe Buyout team, said: "DuPont Performance Coatings is a technology innovator and we look forward to building on its strong market presence to accelerate growth in emerging markets, particularly in China and Brazil."