Chemtura To Drop Crop Protection

U.S. specialty chemicals producer Chemtura has put its crop protection and petroleum additive businesses on the selling block, according to sources in the financial community.

“Chemtura’s ag business is being stopped by Merrill Lynch and petroleum additives by Citigroup,” a source said. “It’s something of a race, as the company is looking to have at least one deal soon. But if they get good prices for both assets they might sell both."

John Gustavsen, Chemtura spokesman, said, “we are exploring potential asset sales.” However, the company would not comment about specific assets, he said. A Citigroup spokeswoman said that company had no immediate comment, and Merrill Lynch was not immediately available for comment.

Through the first three quarters of 2008, Chemtura’s crop protection chemical segment posted a 58 percent gain in operating profits.

The sale of the crop protection business could yield Chemtura between $700 million and $1 billion, sources said. Potential buyers include agricultural chemical players such as Switzerland-based Syngenta, U.S.-based FMC, Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals, and Israel’s Makhteshim Agan, sources said.

(Source: ICIS.com)

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