Kohlberg Kravis Roberts(KKR) announced an agreement to acquire significant portions of Laporte.

NEW YORK — Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) announced an agreement to acquire significant portions of Laporte plc, including Laporte’s Pigments and Additives unit, for $1.175 billion. Under the agreement, the acquired businesses would be combined into a new company based in Princeton, NJ, and would be led by existing operating management, Laporte said.

Mike Kenny, formerly a divisional chairman and a member of Laporte’s board, will be named president of the new company. The business will be owned by KKR and the management team.

The agreement calls for the acquisition of Laporte’s Pigments and Additives, Formulated Products and Compounds, and Electronic divisions, which in 1999 accounted for approximately 55% of Laporte’s sales of about $800 million. The businesses to be acquired are suppliers of pigments additives, timber-treatment chemicals, and other specialty products. Kenny said the new company will seek to expand “both organically through new-product development and through acquisitions.”

Kenny, president of North American Operations of Laporte Inc. since July 1996, previously held high-ranking executive positions with NL Industries Inc., and led NL’s launch of Rheox Inc., now part of Elementis, in 1989. He is a former member of the board of directors of the National Paint & Coatings Association and a former chairman of the NPCA’s Industry Suppliers Committee.