* Auction for Cytec unit in final leg, decision soon-sources
* Other suitors, such as Apollo, no longer involved-sources
* Deal expected to be worth around $1 bln-sources
By Soyoung Kim and Greg Roumeliotis
NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Private equity firms Advent International and Rhone Group LLC have emerged as the lead bidders for Cytec Industries Inc's coating resins business that could fetch around $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The specialty chemicals company has narrowed the list of potential buyers to Advent and Rhone after reviewing final bids, and is expected to make a decision about a buyer soon, the people said on Wednesday.
The other suitors that also pursued a buyout of the Cytec business, such as Apollo Global Management LLC, are no longer involved in the auction, according to the sources and other people familiar with the matter.
Cytec said in May it started looking for a buyer for the business, which makes coating products such as varnishes and specialty paints and represented roughly half of the company's revenues last year.
The sources asked not to be named because details of the auction are not public.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is advising Cytec on the sale, declined to comment, so did representatives of Advent and Rhone Group. Cytec and Apollo were not immediately available for comment.
Its coating resins business makes materials used in products ranging from printing inks and papers to cars and cell phones.
The business has been less profitable than Cytec's other segments that make adhesives and other products for aerospace and industrial markets, as well as mining chemicals and additives for plastics.
Cytec has said it will focus on expanding in its higher-margin segments and in April announced a $439 million deal to buy U.K.-based Umeco Plc, whose products include materials for Formula One cars.
The Woodland Park, New Jersey-based company's shares closed at $65.03 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, valuing the firm at around $3 billion.