The Carlyle Group says it is buying DuPont's performance coatings business for $4.9 billion in cash.
The private equity firm will also take on $250 million of DuPont's unfunded pension liabilities.
The performance coatings business of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. caters to the automotive and industrial coatings sectors. The business is expected to have 2012 sales of more than $4 billion. It has more than 11,000 workers.
Carlyle already has investments in the automotive and industrial segments including Allison Transmission and Hertz.
DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement that the transaction is consistent with its long-term strategy. The company says it is still committed to serving the automotive industry.
DuPont's stock shed 5 cents to $49.89 in premarket trading Thursday.