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Evonik Agrees to Sell Carbon Black Business to Rhone Capital


Major step toward a more clear-cut profile for Evonik

On April 16, 2011, Evonik Industries signed an agreement with affiliates of Rhône Capital LLC to sell its carbon black business, which achieved sales revenues of some €1.2 billion in 2010. The transaction is valued in excess of €900 million including the assumption of certain obligations. Thus, Evonik continues to focus systematically on its core chemical businesses.

The closing is subject to approval by Evonik’s Supervisory Board and competent antitrust authorities, and is expected during summer 2011.

"With the sale of our carbon black activities to Rhône Capital, we believe that their further development potential is highly promising. We are putting the business in good hands. The transaction is good for Evonik, the future of the carbon black business, and its employees. At the same time, this represents another major step toward a more clear-cut profile for Evonik as a leading specialty chemicals company when it goes public," saidKlaus Engel, chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG.

Rhône Capital officials commented, "We are proud to succeed Evonik in stewardship of the Carbon Black franchise. We look forward to building on the foundation of Carbon Black's globally acclaimed technology platform, valued customer relationships and skilled workforce, to support Carbon Black's continued worldwide growth."

"We will ensure that the transition to Rhône Capital takes place smoothly for our customers," explained Thomas Hermann, head of Evonik’s Inorganic Materials Business Unit. The group’s carbon black activities comprise 16 production facilities in eleven countries. Evonik Carbon Black is the global number three in this market. Carbon black is used in the rubber and tire industries and as pigment black preparations in coatings, plastics, inks, and toners, among other goods.

Carbon Black is being acquired intact as a whole, with its 1,650 employees, about 500 of whom are based in Germany.

After carefully analyzing its strategic options, Evonik’s Executive Board decided in early September 2010 to exit the carbon black business entirely. The sale process commenced in November 2010.