Platform Specialty Products has agreed to acquire Arysta LifeScience, a maker of agrochemical and biological products, from private equity firm Permira for approximately $3.51 billion. The news confirms reports earlier this month that Platform was in advanced talks to acquire Arysta.
The deal represents Platform’s third in the agchems space since it announced plans to acquire Chemtura’s agchems business for $1 billion in April. The company’s $378-million acquisition of herbicides maker Agriphar (Ougree, Belgium) closed 1 October, while the purchase of Chemtura’s agchems business is expected to close in November. Arysta, with 3,600 product registrations in more than 100 countries, offers insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, biostimulants and value-added nutrients, Platform says. The company reported net sales of $1.5 billion in 2013 and had a particularly strong performance in its key growth regions of Latin America and Africa, Permira says. High growth emerging economies, including Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, China and South Asia, accounted for more than 65% of Arysta’s sales last year. The proposed acquisition is expected to be more than 20% accretive to Platform’s 2014 adjusted earnings before cost savings, PLatform says.
Arysta’s president and CEO, Wayne Hewett, is expected to joint Platform’s senior leadership team as president and lead Platform’s three agrochemical businesses in cooperation with the management team from Chemtura AgroSolutions, (CAS) Agriphar, and Arysta. Hewett has previously held senior management positions at GE, including president and CEO of GE Silicones and GE Advanced Materials. Platform expects to realize in excess of $65 million in synergies from the combination of the three businesses over the next three years.
“Through the acquisitions of Arysta, CAS, and Agriphar we have established a leading position within an attractive asset-lite, high-touch specialty chemicals vertical,” says Martin Franklin, Platform’s founder and chairman. “As we work to accelerate the organic growth within these businesses, we remain opportunistic on the acquisition front and will look to strategically expand our portfolio across other attractive, niche verticals.”
The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, is expected to be funded through a combination of cash on hand, convertible equity, debt, and equity. The acquisition will not have any impact on Platform’s status as a US-domiciled company.
Credit Suisse, Barclays, UBS Investment Bank, and Nomura Securities International acted as M&A advisors with Greenberg Traurig and Kane Kessler acting as legal advisors to Platform. Barclays, Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank, and Nomura Securities International have committed financing for the acquisition. Morgan Stanley acted as lead financial advisor, JP Morgan acted as co-financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted as legal counsel for the Permira funds.
By Natasha Alperowicz