U.S. specialty chemicals maker Solutia Inc will buy closely-held Etimex Solar, a maker of chemicals used in solar panels, for 240 million euros ($327.1 million) in cash.

The deal is expected to be financed from existing cash on the balance sheet and additional debt, Solutia said.

This acquisition is a solid step forward that strengthens our core competencies, expands our end markets and supports Solutia's growth strategy, Solutia Chief Executive Jeffry Quinn said in a statement.

Etimex Solar GmbH, a division of German plastics firm Etimex Holdings GmbH, makes a film that covers and weatherizes solar panels. ($1=.7337 Euro) (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad and Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)