LONDON -- ICI plc recently announced an agreement to sell its 30% stake in the Huntsman International Holdings joint venture to CSFB Global Opportunities Partners L.P. for L295 million, or approximately $430 million. The sale reflects the company's ongoing strategy to focus on specialty chemicals and paints, ICI said. The company said it will use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt.

ICI exercised an option to sell its 30% stake in the joint venture last October to its U.S.-based partner, Huntsman Chemical Corp., but Huntsman sought a delay in the deal late last year.

ICI Chief Executive Brendan O'Neill said the sale "is a very good deal for ICI and its shareholders. It delivers excellent value overall, enables us to turn part of our investment into cash now and to get the remainder earlier than previously anticipated."

Huntsman International was created in 1999 when ICI agreed to sell its Polyurethanes, Tioxide and selected Petrochemicals businesses to Huntsman Corp. Under the deal, ICI agreed to retain a 30% stake in Huntsman International for at least three years.

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