Evonik to Divest Carbon Blacks Business
Germany’s Evonik Industries has decided to divest its carbon blacks business. This divestment, claims Evonik Executive Board chairman Klaus Engel, provides “the best basis for sustained investment in carbon blacks, new growth prospects and for securing future-oriented jobs in the long-term.” Engel also states that the company’s declared aim in divesting the business is to find a solution “that is equally convincing for customers, employees and business partners.”
In late 2009 the company adopted a new strategic focus, which is aligned to three global megatrends: resource efficiency, health & nutrition, and globalisation of technologies. Through this, Evonik says it aims to “sharpen its profile” as one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals corporations, and the company’s
Executive Board has therefore decided to concentrate investment on areas with above-average growth potential: “Given this, together with the increasing consolidation of the sector and the rising significance of Asian markets, Evonik sees better perspectives for the carbon blacks business outside the group. The carbon black activities are no longer defined as part of Evonik Industries’ core business and have already been carved out to a separate legal entity,” the company stated in a press release.
According to Evonik, its carbon blacks business ranks second in the world, has annual sales of around a billion euros and 1,700 employees in twelve countries. The company refers to carbon black as “an attractive business”, and notes it expects earning this year to rebound to 2008 levels following the sharp market downturn last year. Klaus Engel: “We are actively utilising the opportunities offered by this strong position to open up new perspectives for the carbon black activities,” Engel commented. “Now is the right time to extend and secure their global presence through a change of ownership.”
Evonik manufactures and markets carbon blacks for the rubber and tyre industries and pigment blacks for applications including coatings, plastics, printing inks and toners. Since the start of this year the company has been examining the options for the value-oriented development of this business, and has now engaged an investment bank to prepare the divestment.