Report: KKR Selling Rockwood

German specialty chemical company Altana AG is in talks to buy US peer Rockwood Holdings Inc for EUR 4bn (US$6.12bn) from buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), Manager magazine reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

Altana, which in 2006 hived off its drugs business to focus on speciality chemicals, declined to comment on the report but confirmed that takeovers are part of its strategy, the magazine said in its online edition.

KKR, which holds 80.3% in Rockwood, forged the group from several chemical businesses it had acquired, including four former units of Dynamit Nobel AG, for which it paid EUR 2.3bn, manager magazin said.

Altana plans to meet with Rockwood's executive board on April 7 and aims to make considerable progress in takeover talks before Altana's annual general meeting on May 5, the magazine added.

Rockwood posted the equivalent of EUR 2bn in sales in 2007, which compares with Altana's 2006 full-year revenue of EUR 1.3bn, the latest annual figure that is available.