Jarden's founder to buy chemical maker MacDermid for $1.8 billion

Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:43pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Platform Acquisition Holdings Ltd PAH.L, founded by Jarden Corp (JAH.N) Chairman Martin Franklin, said it would acquire privately held specialty chemicals maker MacDermid Inc MCDMD.UL for about $1.8 billion.

Denver-based MacDermid makes specialized chemicals that are used by manufacturers of automobiles and consumer electronics, and in the offshore drilling industry.

The deal underscores British-born Franklin's quest of building a conglomerate of unrelated consumer brands.

Jarden's portfolio consists of about 100 brands that range from Mr. Coffee and Sunbeam appliances to Crock-Pot slow cookers and Aviator playing cards. It supplies to retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), Target Corp (TGT.N) and Bed, Bath and Beyond (BBBY.O).

The company bought Yankee Candle Co, the largest scented candle company in the United States, for $1.75 billion last month from private equity owner Madison Dearborn Partners.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Thursday that Platform was in advanced talks to buy MacDermid. Platform is a shell company created by Franklin and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen for making acquisitions.

If completed, the acquisition will constitute a reverse takeover, Platform Acquisition said in a statement.

After the deal, Platform Acquisition will be renamed Platform Specialty Products Corp (PSP), its headquarters will be moved to the United States and its listing to the New York Stock Exchange.

MacDermid's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Leever, will be appointed as the new company's CEO. Frank Monteiro, MacDermid's Chief Financial Officer, will become the CFO of PSP.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Platform Acquisition's shareholders include sovereign wealth funds, hedge fund investors and William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management.

MacDermid was taken private for $1.3 billion in a management-led buyout in 2007. It generated about $740 million in revenue for the year to September.

Shares of Platform Acquisition were halted on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday. They closed at 10.50 pence on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Neha Dimri and Aditya Kondalamahanty in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane, Gopakumar Warrier and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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