NEW YORK — Dutch chemicals and paint maker AkzoNobel is selling its specialty chemicals unit to The Carlyle Group and investment firm GIC for 10.1 billion euros (approximately $12.5 billion).

AkzoNobel announced in April that it planned to spin off the specialty chemicals business within 12 months to boost growth and reward its shareholders. The announcement came as the company rejected unsolicited takeover bids by American rival PPG Industries.

The deal is expected to close before year’s end.