Nearly a year after declaring it would spin off its Specialty Chemicals business, AkzoNobel has announced a 10.1-billion euro (US$12.5 billion) sale to The Carlyle Group (Washington, DC) and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. The transaction, expected to be concluded before the end of this year, results in the creation of two focused businesses—Paints and Coatings, and Specialty Chemicals, now owned by Carlyle and GIC. In the original announcement last year, AkzoNobel detailed that the plan was to sell or list the chemicals business, which produced about one-third of sales and profits, within a year. At the time, analysts valued the division at approximately 8-billion euros ($9.9-billion), based on the company’s 2016 operating profit of 629-million euros. “Today is a key milestone in creating two focused, high performing businesses, to generate value for all stakeholders,” said Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel. “We delivered on our commitment to separate the Specialty Chemicals business and did so ahead of schedule. “We are very pleased to announce the sale of Specialty Chemicals to The Carlyle Group and GIC. We believe the business is well positioned to capture growth opportunities and further improve performance. Carlyle has significant experience in the chemicals industry and a proven track record when it comes to health, safety, innovation and sustainability.” He added that the deal leaves AkzoNobel as one of the three largest paints and coatings companies in the world. The Carlyle Group, a global asset manager, reported putting US$22-billion into new investments in 2017, as well as raising $43-billion of capital across the platform. Its total balance sheet assets were $12-billion as of Dec. 31, 2017. The transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions as well as relevant regulatory approvals. AkzoNobel acquired shareholder approval for the separation at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on November 30, 2017.