Bain buys Dow Chemical unit for $1.6bn

The private equity firm has done four deals in 2010, with its second mega-deal of the year resulting from an auction that reportedly included TPG and Apollo.

Dow Chemical has sold its Styron plastics division to Bain Capital for $1.63 billion, but retains the right to receive up to 15 percent of the unit’s equity as part of the deal, according to a statement.

Further financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Styron’s revenues are expected to total roughly $3.5 billion this year. The company has more than 40 manufacturing plants around the world and employs nearly 2,000 people that make products for sectors including automotive, electronics and optical media.

Dow put the non-core unit up for sale in July 2009. As recently as Monday TPG was reported by the Wall Street Journal to be the frontrunner in the process. Apollo Global Management was also named as an interested suitor.

Expected to close by August 2010, the Stryon deal marks Bain’s second mega-deal this year. In February, the firm partnered with Advent International and Berkshire Partners up on a $1.1 billion deal for Dublin, Ireland-headquartered SkillSoft, a provider of Internet-based education services for businesses and governments.

Bain’s other private equity transactions this year have included the $67 million purchase of Domino’s Japanese operations and the $125 million purchase of a 35 percent stake in Bombay-listed Himadri Chemicals & Industries. The latter transaction represented its first Indian deal since opening an office in Mumbai in 2008.