DuPont seeks PE firms to re-bid for vehicle paint unit

DuPont Co has asked private equity firms that have placed bids for its vehicle paint unit, to team up and make new offers after initial bids did not meet the US chemicals giant's expectations, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Private equity firms have formed five groups to bid for Dupont's performance coatings' division, the sources told the news agency.

Carlyle Group and Apollo Global Management have formed one group, while TPG Capital has teamed up with Advent International, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co with Onex Corp, the report said.

Earlier Blackstone Group has teamed up with Bain Capital, while Clayton Dubilier & Rice teamed up with CVC Capital Partners.

The private equity groups have held talks with the management of Dupont and raised concerns about the earnings assumptions made by DuPont for the business, as well the steady decline of volumes of selling paint to auto body shops, the sources told Reuters.

The Wilmington, Delaware-based company had in October 2011 started working towards the divestment of its performance coatings' division and in February this year hired Credit Suisse as adviser and Greenhill & Co to handle the sale.