Platform Acquisition Holdings Ltd announced it would acquire privately held specialty chemicals maker MacDermid, Inc. for about $1.8 billion, according to news reports from The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.
On Oct. 9, The Wall Street Journal reported that Platform Acquisition Holdings Ltd , founded by Jarden Corp chairman Martin Franklin, was in advanced talks to buy MacDermid. (Platform is a shell company created by Franklin and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen for making acquisitions.) If completed, the acquisition will constitute a reverse takeover, Platform Acquisition said in a statement.

In essence, Platform Acquisition Holdings will be renamed Platform Specialty Products Corp. following its purchase of MacDermid. After the deal closes, which is expected by the end of the year, U.K.-based Platform Specialty Products will move its headquarters to the U.S. and its listing to the New York Stock Exchange.
According to a statement released by Platform Acquisition Holdings, MacDermid's chairman and CEO, Daniel Leever, will be named the CEO of the new company. Meanwhile, Frank Monteiro, MacDermid's chief financial officer, will become the CFO of Platform Specialty Products.

MacDermid will continue to be operated as a standalone business by its existing management team under the  Platform Specialty Products Corp. umbrella, documents show. At closing Platform Specialty Products Corp. intends to change the composition of its board in anticipation of its move from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange. The reconstituted board of directors, according to the release, will consist of a "deep bench of talent" with expertise and experience in building best-in-class public companies and positioning them for success.
"As we look to build a portfolio of market-leading specialty chemicals businesses, MacDermid is a natural choice to serve as the initial investment and foundation for Platform Specialty Products," Franklin said. "MacDermid's heritage and market presence make it a leader within the sector, and this transaction will provide the Company with the tools and resources necessary to reach the next level of success."
Franklin went on to say that Platform Specialty Products will maintain and respect the integrity of the seasoned and skilled management team as well as the MacDermid brand, products and operations, "which have achieved consistent and impressive growth. We look forward to this being a successful, long-term partnership and are confident that this transaction will be the first of many milestones we will achieve together."

MacDermid's Leever concurred. "I'm delighted that MacDermid has found a permanent home from which we can achieve our long-term vision of being a leading global specialty chemicals company. Our business is characterized by a blended chemistry manufacturing model that is inherently non-capital intensive and requires high levels of innovation and technical service. This 'asset-lite, high-touch' business model enables us to deliver results to a diversified customer base, resulting in significant free cash flow to support organic growth and growth through acquisitions."

More details about the deal are available online.