Total SA agreed to sell its specialty chemicals unit Atotech to the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) for $3.2 billion as the French oil company disposes of non-core assets to weather a slump in crude and preserve payouts to shareholders.

Chemical deals have been picking up in the middle market. Meridian General Capital has bought PowderCoat Services Inc.; PPG (NYSE: PPG) is acquiring MetoKote Corp.; and Polymer Solutions Group has purchased Alkon Solutions Ltd.

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