(Reuters) - Albaugh LLC is exploring a sale that could value the privately held U.S. producer of agricultural crop protection chemicals at more than $1.5 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
Albaugh, controlled by its 67-year-old founder Dennis Albaugh, is working with investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to discuss a potential sale of the company following expressions of interest from private equity firms, the people said this week.
There is no certainty that the negotiations will lead to any deal, the sources added, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Albaugh did not respond to a request for comment, while JPMorgan declined to comment.
Headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, the heart of the U.S. grain belt, Albaugh makes and sells generic herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and seed treatments.
It would not be the first time that Dennis Albaugh has sought to sell the company he founded in 1979. Israeli agrochemicals company MA Industries ended talks to acquire Albaugh for about $1 billion in 2011, blaming findings during due diligence. Albaugh, however, said MA Industries demanded changes to the deal’s terms and conditions.
Last week, Platform Specialty Products Corp PAH.N decided to abandon the sale of its agrochemicals business after the offers it attracted failed to meet its valuation expectations of more than $4.5 billion. It will pursue a spinoff or initial public offering of the unit instead.
Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by David Gregorio