Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) , under pressure from activists, said Wednesday it would sell its Angus Chemical Co. additives unit to Golden Gate Capital in a deal valued at $1.22 billion.
Angus, based in Buffalo Grove, Ill., is a manufacturer and distributor of nitroalkanes and derivaties, additives used in industries including paints, life sciences, metalworking, personal care, water treatment and energy. The company has facilities in Louisiana and Germany and a packaging factory in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
San Francisco-based Golden Gate said that it sees strong growth potential for the Angus businesses.
"With an exceptional reputation, skilled management team, and unique technologies and capabilities, Angus is well-positioned to continue to provide innovative solutions to help its customers succeed in growing their businesses," Golden Gate managing director Rajeev Amara said in a statement. "The Angus management team has a strategic vision for the company that we are eager to support and that aligns well with our long term investment horizon."
The deal is part of a broader effort by Dow, under pressure from Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC, to sell assets and restructure its operations. The Midland, Mich.-based company has numerous assets on the block, including its AgroFresh Inc. specialty unit and its sodium borohydride unit.
Dow this year also sold a substantial portion of its North American rail fleet for $450 million, switching instead to leasing cars in the future. The company has been in a constant state of buying and selling assets since its 2008 deal to acquire Rohm and Haas Co. for $18.8 billion.
Dow said Wednesday it was raising its asset sale target to $8.5 billion, from $6 billion, and its buyback plan by $5 billion to $14.5 billion. The company said it intends to cut its stake in all of its Kuwait-based joint ventures to release capital "for other strategic purposes."
Loeb has argued that Dow would be better off splitting its raw materials operations from its higher margin specialty chemicals units, but company officials have countered that keeping both businesses under one roof helps to lower input costs.
JPMorgan Securities LLC is serving as financial adviser to Golden Gate, with JPMorgan Securities, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. providing financing to support the transaction.