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Evonik Sets Course for Future of its Carbon Blacks Business



Published September 20, 2010
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Evonik Industries has decided to divest its carbon blacks business. Klaus Engel, chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG, said, “Our declared aim is to find a solution that is equally convincing for customers, employees and business partners. The decision to divest this business provides the best basis for sustained investment in carbon blacks, new growth prospects and for securing future-oriented jobs in the long-term.”

Evonik’s carbon blacks business ranks second in the world and has strong and established brands. It has 1,700 employees in 12 countries and sales of around €1 billion. Carbon black is an attractive business. Following the sharp market downturn during the crisis in 2009, this year earnings will rebound to the good level registered in 2008.

Klaus Engel: “We are actively utilizing the opportunities offered by this strong position to open up new perspectives for the carbon black activities,” Mr. Engel noted. “Now is the right time to extend and secure their global presence through a change of ownership.”

About 80 percent of Evonik’ chemicals business ranks among the market leaders. The group adopted a new strategic focus at the end of 2009, and has announced that it will be further streamlining its portfolio and focusing investment even more clearly on key growth markets. Strategic portfolio development is aligned to the three global megatrends: resource efficiency, health and nutrition, and globalization of technologies. In this way, Evonik aims to sharpen its profile as one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals corporations. The 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.

Evonik manufactures and markets carbon blacks for the rubber and tire industries and pigment blacks for applications including coatings, plastics, printing inks and toners.

Since the start of this year Evonik has been intensively examining the options for the value-oriented development of this business. It has now engaged an investment bank to prepare the divestment.


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