Albemarle Corp. announced it signed a definitive agreement to sell its Chemetall Surface Treatment business to BASF for approximately $3.2 billion.

“The sale of Chemetall reflects Albemarle’s continued commitment to maximizing shareholder value by investing in the future growth of our high priority businesses, reducing leverage and returning capital to shareholders,” says Albemarle president and CEO Luke Kissam.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of 2016.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Albemarle, and Shearman & Sterling LLP is acting as its legal advisor in connection with this transaction.