DuPont Co mulls $4 billion sale of auto and vehicle paint division: report

US chemicals giant DuPont Co is planning to sell its auto and vehicle paint division that may fetch as much as $4 billion. It has hired Credit Suisse to advice on the sale, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The estimated value of the 'performance coatings' division includes a smaller powder-coatings unit, which makes coatings for tractors and playground equipment, that DuPont is selling separately, and has hired Greenhill & Co to handle the sale of this business, said the news agency.

The performance coatings division including the powder-coatings unit, had a revenue of $3.8 billion last year and net income of $255 million.

Potential buyers for the performance Coatings division or the powder-coatings unit or both the units could probably be paint manufacturers Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based PPG Industries, AkzoNobel of the Netherlands or German chemical company BASF.

The sale would be the Wilmington, Delaware-based company's third largest asset disposal since 2001 after it sold most of its pharmaceuticals business to Bristol-Myers Squibb for $7.8 billion and its fibers unit in 2004 to Koch Industries for $4.2 billion.

In May this year, DuPont, the world's second largest chemical company by market capitalisation behind BASF, acquired Danish food ingredient maker Danisco for $6.3 billion in cash and bought solar technology company Innovalight in July as part of its plan of doubling sales revenue in the photovoltaic market to $2 billion by 2014.