UPDATE 1-Alent CEO Steve Corbett steps down

Thu Sep 4, 2014 4:09am EDT

(Adds analyst comments, share movement)

Sept 4 (Reuters) - Speciality chemicals maker Alent Plc said on Thursday that its Chief Executive Steve Corbett would step down immediately, and named Rick Ertmann, president of its Assembly Materials division, as interim CEO.

Shares in the company fell as much as 3 percent in early trading, making them the top percentage losers on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index.

Corbett took over as CEO of Alent when the company was spun out of Cookson Group Plc in December 2012.

The company did not give a reason for Corbett's departure, but said the board would undertake a recruitment process to find a permanent CEO.

"We suspect there may have been differences of opinion about the way forward between the CEO and board, including activist investor Cevian, over the future balance between bolt-on acquisitions, capex and cash return," Liberum analysts Adam Collins and Sophie Jourdier wrote in a note to clients.

Cevian Capital is Alent's biggest shareholder with a 21.94 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The analysts added that based on their conversation with CFO David Egan, discussions regarding a successor were fairly advanced.

Alent supplies fluxes, adhesives and electroplating chemicals via its two units, Assembly Materials and Surface Chemistries, to the electronic and automotive industries respectively.

Alent shares were trading down 6.8 pence at 344.2 pence at 0808 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Roshni Menon in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)