• Total sells chemicals unit to US fund

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    PARIS – French oil major Total said Friday it had sold its specialty chemicals unit Atotech that serves the electronics and metals industries to the US investment fund Carlyle for $3.2 billion (2.9 billion euros).

    No date was given for the closure of the deal, which is part of Total’s efforts to sell off $10 billion in assets between 2015 and 2017 as it adjusts to crude prices at half their levels of mid-2014.

    Atotech provides chemicals used in the production of electronics such as printed circuit boards and semiconductors as well as finishing of metals used in the automobile, construction and furniture industries.
    With over 4,000 employees worldwide, mainly in China and Germany, the company posted 1 billion euros in sales last year.

    “Carlyle will enable Atotech to pursue its growth ambitions and serve its customers while respecting its commitments towards its employees and stakeholders,” Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.

    Although Atotech is very active in Asia — the global centre of electronics and semiconductors manufacturing — the French business daily Les Echos reported Friday that several Chinese companies dropped out of the bidding.

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