Eastman Chemical Co., the largest maker of plastic for beverage bottles, agreed to sell businesses in the United States, Europe and China to Los Angeles-based Apollo Management for $215 million, reducing its workforce by 14%.
Eastman is selling assets in its coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks segment for $165 million in cash and a $50-million note, the Kingsport, Tenn.-based company said in a statement.
About 2,100 of Eastman's 15,000 employees will work for closely held Apollo when the deal closes, probably by the end of July, Eastman said.
Shares of Eastman Chemical fell 11 cents to $46.23 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has risen 41% in the last year.
"Completing this divestiture is a significant step forward in Eastman's ongoing strategy to improve the company's profitability," Chief Executive Brian Ferguson said.
Apollo, a 14-year-old investment company led by financier Leon Black, said the acquisition was in a part of the chemical industry that should grow in the future.
"Apollo looks forward to working with the employees to allow this new company to realize its full potential," Josh Harris, a founding Apollo partner, said.