Miami firm buying Las Vegas-based chemicals manufacturer

A Miami investment firm is buying Las Vegas chemicals maker American Pacific Corp., whose PEPCON plant exploded in a deadly inferno a quarter century ago, for $392 million cash.

HIG Capital’s buyout was announced today, though executives did not say when they expect the sale to close.

The firm agreed to pay $46.50 per share for American Pacific, 19 percent higher than the stock’s closing price Thursday.

American Pacific’s corporate offices are in the Hughes Center office park east of the Strip, but its manufacturing facilities are out of state, in California, Utah and Texas.

The company, founded in 1955 as the Pacific Engineering & Production Co. of Nevada, owned the PEPCON plant in Henderson that exploded May 4, 1988, killing two people and injuring more than 300 others.

The plant made ammonium perchlorate, which boosts rocket fuel performance.

HIG has more than $13 billion of capital under management. The firm is based in Florida but has offices around the country and affiliate offices in Europe and Brazil.