Chemical maker DuPont
DuPont's adviser on the deal, Credit Suisse Group
Reuters and other news organizations reported in October that DuPont was considering the sale of the unit, and several buyout firms have been preparing for the auction since late last year. The unit could also attract interest from other chemical companies.
Private equity firms find the unit especially attractive as they believe costs can easily be cut to make it more profitable, the sources said.
Still, it remains expensive for buyout firms to secure financing, which hurts returns and could makes buyout firms shy about offering top dollar for businesses.
Private equity firms Blackstone Group
Reuters reported in December that KKR & Co
The performance coatings business primarily sells to Maaco and other auto paint refinishers. Ford Motor Co
DuPont, Credit Suisse, Blackstone and CD&R declined to comment on the matter. Advent could not be immediately reached for comment.
DuPont's shares closed down 1.7 percent at $51.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Ernest Scheyder)