* Deal value in the region of $4.8 billion-source
* Sale would allow DuPont to slash debt
By Soyoung Kim and Greg Roumeliotis
NEW YORK, Aug 29 DuPont is nearing a deal
to sell its car paint unit to private equity firm Carlyle Group
LP as early as this week, three people familiar with the
matter said on Wed nesday, marking the end of an 8-month-long
The deal is likely to be in the region of $4.8 billion, one
of the people said, cautioning that the final details were still
being worked out. Complexities in negotiating a carve-out of the
performance coatings unit delayed an agreement, they added.
DuPont and Carlyle declined to comment.
DuPont, which has never publicly acknowledged it is selling
the car paint business, launched an auction for the asset in
January. It also attracted final bids last month from Apollo
Global Management LLC and a consortium of KKR & Co LP
and Onex Corp, people familiar with the matter
previously told Reuters.
DuPont's performance coatings business primarily sells to
Maaco and other auto paint refinishers. Ford Motor Co and
General Motors Co are also key customers, although
selling to so-called original equipment manufacturers is not as
Not only would the unit's sale remove the lowest-margin and
slowest-growth business from DuPont's portfolio, it would also
allow the chemicals manufacturer to cut debt and make an
acquisition worth $5 billion to $10 billion in 2013, Deutsche
Bank analysts wrote in a note to clients earlier this month.
Like many private equity firms, Carlyle specializes in
turning businesses around. The Washington, D.C.-based investment
firm has been very active of late, committing $1 billion in
private equity in the second quarter and announcing deals since
then for which it will commit at least $1.6 billion, Carlyle's
co-chief executive, William Conway, said on Aug. 8.
Earlier on Wednesday DuPont announced another divestment as
Syngenta AG agreed to buy DuPont's professional
products insecticide business for $125 million in cash to expand
the Swiss company's range of pest-control products.