Indian agrochemicals producer UPL Ltd is exploring a bid of more than $4 billion for the agrochemicals business of Platform Specialty Products Corp to expand its global footprint, according to people familiar with the matter.
The bid would challenge a rival offer for the unit by a private equity consortium of Blackstone Group LP and CVC Capital Partners Ltd, the sources said on Monday. A competitive bid would be a boon for Platform Specialty and its biggest shareholder, William Ackman`s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP, which owns 14.5 percent of the company.
UPL is in talks with buyout firm New Mountain Capital LLC about teaming up on an offer, the sources said. There is no certainty that any bid from UPL will materialize or that it will meet the price expectations of Platform Specialty co-founder and chairman Martin Franklin, a prolific dealmaker who spent $4.9 billion on acquisitions to put together the agrochemicals unit, the sources said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Platform Specialty, UPL, Blackstone and CVC did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while New Mountain Capital declined to comment.
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