Clariant to kick off sale of pigments business - sources

FRANKFURT/ZURICH, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Clariant is launching the sale of its pigments business as the Swiss chemicals group streamlines its portfolio following a deal that saw a Saudi Arabian peer become its biggest shareholder last year.

Clariant has mandated Deutsche Bank to find a buyer for the business, which could be valued at roughly 800 million Swiss Francs ($821 million), the people said.

The Swiss company is expected to send out information packages on the unit in the first quarter, aiming to sign a deal as early as before the summer break, they said, adding that private equity firms with a penchant for chemicals companies were the most likely suitors.

Clariant and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. ($1 = 0.9755 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and John Miller Editing by Michelle Martin)