March 4, 2019 / 6:14 PM / 3 months ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-Evonik agrees 3 bln euro sale of acrylic sheet unit to Advent

(Repeats with PIX in slug)

* Says in final steps of striking deal

* Agreement in principle comes one year after decision to sell

* Evonik in bid to bolster growth credentials

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) - German chemicals group Evonik has agreed the key terms of a 3 billion euro ($3.4 billion) sale of its methacrylates plastics unit to buyout group Advent a year after its decision to shed the business.

Evonik’s supervisory board has yet to sign off on the sale of the manufacturer of clear acrylic sheet and precursor materials, but the purchase agreement is being put together, the German group said in a brief statement on Monday.

Advent had vied for the business with rival bidders SK Capital and a consortium of Triton and Rhone Capital, as well as petrochemicals group Ineos, people close to the matter told Reuters last week.

The company announced plans in March 2018 to sell the business, looking to focus on faster-growing sectors, such as feed additives and rubber silica for tyres.

The Evonik unit competes with Arkema’s Altuglas unit in polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) - or clear acrylic sheet - and MMA, a precursor material for PMMA, glues and paints.

PMMA is used in the construction, automotive and electronics industries and known by brand names such as Plexiglas.

Evonik, which is due to report 2018 results on Tuesday, agreed in November to acquire U.S. group PeroxyChem for $625 million from a buyout group to bolster its peroxide bleaching agents business and shore up revenue growth.

The methacrylates business posted 2017 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of less than 400 million euros on 1.8 billion euros of sales.

$1 = 0.8825 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by David Goodman/David Evans

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