BASF SE agreed to acquire a metal-coatings business from U.S.-based Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) for about $3.2 billion, as the German company joins the throng of chemical makers currently pushing the volume of dealmaking to new heights.

The world’s biggest chemical maker will pay cash for Chemetall, which provides coatings to prevent metal corrosion in car- and plane-chassis prior to spray painting, the Ludwigshafen-based company said in a statement Friday. The asset generated $845 million in sales last year, with the purchase price implying a multiple of 15.3 times earnings through March, Albemarle said separately.

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