February 12, 2018 / 10:31 AM / a year ago

Apollo joins forces with Dutch fund PGGM in bid for Akzo chemicals: FT

Dulux paint cans are filled on the production line inside AkzoNobel's new paint factory in Ashington, Britain September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Apollo that is seeking to buy the chemicals division of Dulux paintmaker Akzo Nobel (AKZO.AS) has added a Dutch pension firm to its team, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

According to the FT report, PGGM, which oversees 200 billion euros ($245 billion) on behalf of workers in the Dutch healthcare sector, has joined with Apollo and chemicals company Lanxess (LXSG.DE).

Akzo has set an April deadline to sell or spin off the chemicals operations, which account for a third of company sales and earnings and is valued at roughly 9 billion euros.

PGGM could not immediately be reached to comment on the FT report.

Adding a Dutch player to the Apollo bidding team could be a smart strategic move. Akzo’s decision to sell the unit was made as part of its strategy to reject a 26 billion euro takeover bid from U.S. rival PPG Industries.

Akzo rejected the idea of an American owner, saying PPG would be a poor cultural fit and the takeover would lead to job losses.

Candidates to buy the chemicals division include the Apollo group, private equity firm Carlyle, a teamup between private equity firms Bain Capital and Advent, and Luxembourg-based Hal Investments.

The firms have all either declined comment or have not responded to requests for comment on their possible interest in Akzo’s chemicals business.. ($1 = 0.8151 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Keith Weir

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