* Deal to close in second half of 2017
* Shares fall as much as 4 pct (Adds analyst comment, shares)
March 27 (Reuters) - Sealed Air Corp said it would sell its cleaning and chemicals systems division, Diversey Care, and its food hygiene and cleaning business to Bain Capital Private Equity for about $3.2 billion, as it focuses on its higher-margin businesses.
The food hygiene and cleaning business, which is part of Sealed Air’s food care division, and Diversey Care together will be called New Diversey, the company said on Monday.
New Diversey generated net sales of about $2.6 billion in 2016.
The Diversey Care business has been weighed down by a strong dollar and a slowdown in some of its end-markets.
Sealed Air acquired Diversey in 2011 from its controlling shareholders, the Johnson family and private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC, in a $4.3 billion cash-and-stock deal.
The company’s shares fell as much as 4 percent to $42.90 in morning trading.
Jefferies analyst Philip Ng said investors may be disappointed with the purchase price, as many had likely expected a price closer to $3.5 billion.
The company expects net cash proceeds of $2.5 billion, he said.
“We believe the net cash proceeds from the sale will likely be viewed as a letdown, with investors likely expecting closer to $3 billion,” the analyst wrote in a note.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Sealed Air said it would use the proceeds to repay debt, repurchase shares, maintain its net leverage ratio in the range of 3.5-4.0 times and fund core growth initiatives.
Reuters earlier this month reported that Sealed Air was in talks to sell Diversey Care.
The deal, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, would allow Sealed Air to focus on its food, product and medical packaging businesses.
Sealed Air’s portfolio includes the Cryovac food packaging brand and cushioning brand Bubble Wrap.
Citi is the financial adviser to Sealed Air and Barclays and RBC Capital Markets LLC were Bain Capital’s financial advisers. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)