NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Imperial Chemical Industries Plc of London (ICI) said on Monday it agreed to sell its industrial chemicals businesses to U.S. chemical giant DuPont for $3 billion.
The acquisition, consisting of ICI's polyester and intermediates interests and its titanium dioxide holdings outside of North America, represents a major global expansion for Wilmington, Del., based DuPont. ICI will retain its titanium dioxide business -- used in paints and paper products -- within North America.
The businesses had aggregate sales revenue of 1.4 billion pounds and 17 million pounds in profits last year. The acquisition price represents a multiple of 1.3 times average annual sales over the last three years.
In a statement, ICI said the cash offer includes liabilities to be assumed by DuPont. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to be completed within the next nine months.
For ICI, the transaction nearly completes a dramatic shift away from industrial chemicals to the more profitable consumer-oriented businesses. In May, ICI purchased the specialty chemicals business of Unilever for $8 billion.
The DuPont deal is "a further step in ICI's transformation," said Chief Executive Charles Miller Smith.
"This is another major milestone in creating a new ICI for the new century. The portfolio of businesses in ICI is well positioned to develop and deliver sustainable profitable growth over the coming years," he said in a statement.
The sales revenue will significantly reduce ICI's debt following the Unilever acquisition. In addition, ICI said it will continue to explore refinancing opportunities to expand its new portfolio for the future.