UPDATE 1-Owner of chemicals firm Polynt-Reichhold explores $2.3 bln sale – sources

* Auction expected to launch in 2021 – sources

* Valuation range of 1.5-2 billion euros – sources

* Company has core earnings of 241 mln euros (Adds Investindustrial comment)

LONDON/MILAN, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Buyout fund Investindustrial is gearing up to sell its specialty chemicals firm Polynt-Reichhold in a deal worth up to 2 billion euros ($2.34 billion) that is expected to launch early next year, five sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Italy-based Polynt-Reichhold was formed in 2017 by combining Investindustrial-owned Polynt and Black Diamond Capital-backed Reichhold.

The business, which operates 41 plants around the world with a strong presence in Europe and North America, has over 2 billion euros in annual revenues.

It could be valued at between 1.5 and 2 billion euros including debt, based on core earnings of 241 million euros in 2019, two of the sources said.

Investindustrial, led by founder Andrea Bonomi,

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