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DuPont to buy Laird

DuPont has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Laird Performance Materials from private equity giant Advent International. This is expected to close in Q3, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The $2.3 billion cost (about 15x estimated 2021 EBITDA) will be paid from existing cash.

Laird specialises in electromagnetic shielding and thermal management to protect devices from electromagnetic interference, complementing DuPont’s activities in films, laminates and plating chemistry. It has over 4,300 employees at 11 sites in North America, Europe and Asia. Revenues were $465 million in 2020 and the firm has had high single-digit growth rates and adjusted EBITDA margins of around 30%.

DuPont said that Laird is aligned with its “strategic objective of shifting its portfolio increasingly towards differentiated products in attractive markets with long-term secular growth trends”. The combined firm will be major player in electronics application for smart and autonomous vehicles, 5G telecoms, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and high-performance computing.

DuPont expects to garner about $60 million in pre-tax run-rate cost synergies by the end of 2024, most of it coming in the first 18 months post-closing. It will take a one-time charge of about $40 million. The deal should be accretive to its operating EBITDA margins, free cash flow and adjusted earnings within the first 12 months, the company added.

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