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DSM announces 3.85 billion euro sale of engineering materials business

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch bioscience and foods company DSM on Tuesday announced the sale of its engineering materials subsidiary for 3.85 billion euros ($4.13 billion) to private equity firm Advent International and German chemicals company Lanxess .

The announcement came shortly after DSM said it intended to merge with Swiss peer Firmenich.

Advent and Lanxess plan to combine DSM's engineering materials business with Lanxess' high performance materials business under a joint venture in which Advent will own a 60% stake and Lanxess a 40% stake.

"We are forging a strong global player in the field of high-performance plastics," said Lanxess CEO Matthias Zachert in a statement. "The portfolios, value chains and global positioning of the two businesses complement each other perfectly."

DSM has been in the process of selling its materials division since September. DSM co-chief executive Geraldine Matchett had said at a press conference early on Tuesday about the Firmenich merger she expected more news on the engineering subsidiary "soon".

The DSM engineering division manufactures high-density polyethylene thermoplastics used in food packaging to electronics.

DSM had said it considered the operations non-core as it plans to focus on health and nutrition business.

($1 = 0.9313 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Ed Osmond, Kirsten Donovan)

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