Air Producs and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, today said it agreed to sell its interest in a joint venture with Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG, to Wacker for $265 million.

The joint venture produces vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) polymers for use in adhesives, paints, paper and carpet.

As part of the transaction Air Products also will take full ownership of production facilities in Elkton, Md., and Piedmont, S.C.

Meanhwile, Wacker, of Munich, will take over facilities in Calvert City, Ky.; South Brunswick, N.J.; Cologne, Germany; and Ulsan, Korea, as well as commercial and research facilities near Allentown, and in Burghausen, Germany.

There are about 430 employees directly associated with the VAE business. Those employees will be offered employment with Wacker, which intends to continue operating the business out of the Lehigh Valley, Air Products said.

In a statement, Air Products said the sale is part of its planned "portfolio management activities intended to make the company a more focused, less cyclical and higher growth company."

Air Products shares were down $2.42, or 2.4 percent, to $100.66 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Air Products has annual revenues of $10 billion, and has 22,000 employees.