Platform Sells Agricultural Solutions to UPL
US specialty chemicals company Platform Specialty Products has signed an agreement to sell its Agricultural Solutions business, comprising Arysta LifeScience and its subsidiaries, to India’s UPL Corp for $4.2 billion in cash. This will create one of the world’s largest crop protection companies with $5 billion in annual sales.
Arysta was formed through the combination of Arysta LifeScience, which Platform acquired in February 2015, with Agriphar and Chemtura AgroSolutions , both acquired in 2014. For the year ended March 2018, Arysta reported operating revenue of around $2 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $424 million.
Describing the acquisition as a “transformational transaction” for UPL, Jai Shroff, group CEO and executive director of the Mumbai-headquartered company, said Arysta has a differentiated position in the crop protection market given its focus primarily on specialty applications and tailored local solutions. UPL expects the acquisition to drive annual synergies of more than $200 million.
The transaction is backed by a $1.2 billion equity investment in UPL from long-term investors, including a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and TPG, a leading global alternative asset firm. ADIA and TPG will each invest $600 million for a combined stake of around 22% in UPL.
The acquisition, which is subject to customary conditions and the receipt of required regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in late 2018 or early 2019, marking the end of a separation process that Platform announced in August 2017. The Florida-based group said that in the five years since its founding it has built two distinct, high-quality specialty chemicals companies with leadership positions in attractive end-markets. Proceeds from the asset sale will be used to pay down existing debt.
Once the sale to UPL has closed, Platform plans to change its name to Element Solutions. The newly named company will comprise Platform’s existing Performance Solutions business, which offers a portfolio of specialty chemicals businesses focused on segments in the electronics, industrials and energy end-markets.
Going forward, Element will continue to focus on organic growth from its core portfolio as well as “measured opportunistic” acquisitions to build its capabilities, technologies and product offerings in its existing and adjacent markets, the company said.