By John Whitehead
Plastics & Rubber Weekly
Efforts to raise finance for the deal are said to be underway
27 May 2008 - Two top private equity firms are in talks to acquire Chemtura, the world's largest producer of polymer additives, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Quoting someone "familiar with the situation," the paper said that the talks involve Blackstone Group and Apollo Management, both major players in the private equity field. Other US sources report that efforts to raise the necessary finance for the deal are now underway.
Chemtura has been carrying out a series of rationalisation and portfolio management measures as it struggles to achieve the performance it aimed for when it was created.
Chemtura was created from the merger of US majors Great Lakes Chemical and Crompton. Activist investor Nelson Peltz recently disclosed a stake in the company.
The group, which is capitalised at close to $2bn (€1.26bn), posted a loss for the first quarter of this year. Last December it announced that a number of options, including an outright sale, were on the table and that Merrill Lynch had been appointed as exclusive financial advisor.