In a diversifying play, Sealed Air (SEE) reached a deal on Wednesday to scoop up privately held cleaning products company Diversey for $2.9 billion in cash and stock.

Bubble Wrap maker Sealed Air said it plans to pay for the deal with $2.1 billion in cash and by issuing 31.7 million shares valued at $25.68 billion.

The acquisition of Diversey will give Sealed Air a foothold in the $40 billion chemical cleaning and hygiene industry.

“This transaction represents a strategic growth opportunity that leverages Sealed Air’s core competencies and positions our company to further capitalize on the megatrends that drive both businesses,” Sealed Air CEO William V. Hickey said in a statement.

Privately-held Diversey is controlled by members of the Johnson family and private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The Sturtevant, Wis.-based company employs more than 10,000 workers, operates in over 60 countries and generated 2010 sales of $3.1 billion.

Hickey plans to stay on as CEO of the combined company, while Diversey CEO Edward Lonergan and his team will lead the Diversey division.

“This was a difficult decision, but the compelling rationale was that together, we can leverage our expertise to transform our industry more rapidly and in more ways than either company could do alone,” Diversey Chairman Helen Johnson-Leipold said in a statement.

Sealed Air said it expects the acquisition to be completed in 2011 and add to its bottom line in the first full year after closing.

As a result of the transaction, Diversey shareholders are expected to own 15% of Sealed Air’s common stock.

In a show of support for the deal, shares of Sealed Air jumped 7.71% to $27.66 ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday. The company’s stock had been flat on the year as of Tuesday.

Citigroup (C) and Blackstone (BX) acted as financial advisors to Sealed Air, while Goldman Sachs (GS) advised Diversey.

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