08/30/2012 12:51 EDT | Updated 10/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Carlyle Group buying DuPont's performance coatings business for $4.9 billion

WILMINGTON, Del. - The Carlyle Group is buying DuPont's performance coatings business for $4.9 billion in cash, giving it another investment in the automotive and industrial segments.

The private equity firm will also take on $250 million of DuPont's unfunded pension liabilities under the deal disclosed Thursday.

The performance coatings business of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. caters to the automotive and industrial coatings sectors. The business is expected to have 2012 sales of more than $4 billion. It has more than 11,000 workers.

Carlyle's investments in the automotive and industrial segments already include Allison Transmission, PQ Corp. and Hertz.

DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement that the transaction is consistent with its long-term strategy of "driving competitive advantages in agriculture and nutrition, advanced materials and biotechnology, which represent high-growth, high-margin opportunities."

DuPont says it is still committed to serving the automotive industry.

"We will continue to work closely with automotive customers to apply our science-powered innovations related to light weighting of vehicles, revolutionary and environmentally friendly refrigerants, biobased seat fabrics and headliners, and next-generation biofuels," Kullman said.

On Wednesday Swiss seed company Syngenta said that it will pay $125 million for DuPont Professional Products' insecticide business, which supplies products for the professional turf, ornamentals and home pest control markets.

The deal with the Carlyle Group is targeted to close in 2013's first quarter. Carlyle says the DuPont transaction will be funded with equity from U.S. buyout fund Carlyle Partners V and Carlyle Europe Partners III.

DuPont's stock fell 17 cents to $49.77 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares have fallen 8 per cent since hitting a 52-week high of $53.98 in early May.