ESSEN, Germany (April 20, 2011) — Specialty chemicals producer Evonik Industries A.G. has agreed to sell its carbon black activities to affiliates of New York-based investment capital firm Rhône Capital L.L.C. for more than $1.3 billion.
Evonik said its carbon black business—previously known as Degussa—had sales of $1.7 billion in 2010, making it the No. 3 carbon black maker worldwide.
The company said the move helps it continue to focus on its core chemical businesses. The closing of the deal is subject to approval by Evonik's supervisory board and competent antitrust authorities, the firms said, and is expected this summer.
The Evonik unit is being acquired intact, with its 1,650 employees at 16 production facilities in 11 countries. Capacity is listed as 1.3 million metric tons annually.
Rhône Capital said it is looking forward to “building on the foundation of [the Evonik business'] globally acclaimed technology platform, valued customer relationships and skilled workforce” to support continued worldwide growth.
Rhône Capital focuses on middle-market private equity investments in businesses with pan-European or trans-Atlantic presence. Rhône said its investment philosophy includes the development of strong, strategic partnerships with the companies in which it invests.