Evonik to carve out superabsorbents business for future sale

Evonik to carve out superabsorbents business for future sale

German chemical firm Evonik Industries is considering carving out its superabsorbents business, which makes polymers for diapers and hygiene products, for a possible sale in nine months, according to a Reuters report.

After the carve-out, Evonik has been said to considering putting up the business up for sale, seek a partner or restructure it further. Analysts at Bernstein Research estimated a sale could generate EUR400-450 million in proceeds.

Evonik says it is the third-largest supplier of superabsorbents and competes with BASF, Nippon Shokubai , Sanyo Chemical and LG Chem.

The company has been pursuing deals to boost margins and growth prospects. This year, Evonik concluded the US$625 million takeover of US-based PeroxyChem to boost its bleaching agents business as well as the buy of US process catalyst maker Porocel for US$210 million.

Last year, it decided to sell off its methacrylates plastics unit, a maker of materials for clear acrylic sheets, for EUR3 billion to global private equity investor Advent International Corporation. The transaction comprises Evonik’s methacrylates, acrylic products and CyPlus business lines, as well as a number of methacrylate resins activities. It had said the funds would be used to purchase US company PeroxyChem, and strengthen its specialty chemicals portfolio; for example by building a new PA12 plant in Marl, Germany. Such businesses generate an attractive margin and above-average cash flow for Evonik.

The superabsorbent materials business is part of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division, which saw revenue slip 1% to EUR4.58 billion last year.


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