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Platform Lists on NYSE After MacDermid Deal, Pershing Stake

Stocks in this article: BKW PAH

The Leever Family and MacDermid

Platform's CEO Dan Leever began working at MacDermid in 1982. His family's roots with the company, however, trace back to the late 1930s.

Dan's father Harold Leever joined MacDermid in 1938 as its first research and development chemist and quickly rose through the ranks of the company, becoming CEO in the early 1940s. In 1959, Harold led an employee buyout of the company from its founder Archie J. MacDermid.

Dan Leever took over reins of MacDermid in 1990 as the company listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2006, Leever, Joseph M. Silvestri of Court Square Capital Partners and private equity firm Weston Presidio bought MacDermid in a $1.3 billion leveraged buyout.

In 2011, Leever and MacDermid's private equity owners began exploring an initial public offering. In the end, Leever, a controlling shareholder in MacDermid, opted to join ranks with the likes of Martin Franklin, Nicolas Bergrruen and Pershing Square.

Platform estimates it paid approximately $925 million in cash for MacDermid owners and issued approximately $100 million of new equity to the sellers. The company also assumed over $750 million in MacDermid debt.

Leever expects to be among Platform's biggest shareholder after rolling 100% of his MacDermid equity into the company. "With Martin Franklin, my family and I have signed on with a new partner," Leever said.

MacDermid as a Platform for Acquisitions

Franklin said in an interview that shortly after creating Platform, the company and its bankers Barclays and Lazard initially looked into buying assets owned by French oil giant Total (TOT). The deal, however, wasn't actionable so Franklin instructed its bankers to look into acquisitions within the specialty chemicals space.

MacDermid quickly came to the top of their list of prospective acquisitions, given its profile of about $180 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and low-capex. Franklin characterizes MacDermid an "asset light" high cash flow business that can help Platform with future acquisitions.

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