Industrial gas producer Air Products and Chemicals Inc is in advanced talks to sell its performance materials operations to Germany’s Evonik Industries AG, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The unit which makes chemicals used in sun lotion and paint could be valued at more than $3.5 billion, according to the source.
The Wall Street Journal had first reported the deal earlier Wednesday.
The deal could be reached in the coming weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Air Products and Chemicals (APD) is the largest holding in Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square hedge fund, according to public filings. At the end of last year, Pershing owned just over 20 million shares of Air Products. The $2.6 billion stake represents about 20% of his overall portfolio, and it was one of the few stocks he owns that is up this year. On Wednesday, Ackman said he was selling have his stake in Mondelez (MDLZ), amid big losses in his fund. Since the beginning of the year, holdings in Ackman’s publicly traded fund have fallen 26%
Air Products about had said last year, that it plans to spin off its materials technologies business into a publicly traded company.
An activist investor Ackman had been pushing Air Products to divest its units and had said the company was undervalued.
Air Products and Chemicals, Evonik Industries and Pershing Square were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.