Sale of pigment division back on / Unit likely revamped and polished through cost-cutting
Former masterbatch manufacturer Clariant (Muttenz / Switzerland; is resuming the sale of its pigments division as the last divestment area to complete the group’s restructuring, a spokesperson told The Swiss company stopped the sale at the beginning of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated concerns over diminished proceeds.

Measures had been taken to successfully manoeuvre the segment through the pandemic, the spokesperson explained, adding that an efficiency programme was initiated to increase the division’s “intrinsic value”. The latter remark in particular suggests that Clariant has probably implemented cost-cutting measures that might also include redundancies, but the company did not comment in detail on the subject. However, the extent of the measures seems to have been significant, as the spokesperson said “any convincing offer” would have to “take this factor into account”.

The pigments division achieved sales of EUR 189m in the third quarter of 2020 versus EUR 528m in the same period of the previous year, but the earlier turnover number also includes the healthcare division, which as since been sold. EBITDA increased significantly from EUR 24m in the third quarter of 2019 to EUR 762m – including the proceeds from the sale of the masterbatch business to Avient (ex-PolyOne; Avon Lake, Ohio / USA; – see of 02.07.2020).

The restructuring of the group’s portfolio is seen by Clariant as a response to the disaster surrounding the cancelled deal with Sabic (Riyadh / Saudi Arabia; – see of 26.07.2019). The Swiss company is now focusing on “Care Chemicals” (including lubricants, food additives, coolants and detergents), “Catalysis” (catalysts) and “Natural Resources” (speciality chemicals for oil production, mining and manufacturing).

These business units generated sales of CHF 893m (EUR 835m) in the third quarter of 2020, an “expected” decline of 7% compared to the year-earlier period. Over the course of this year, revenues have reached CHF 2.84 bn (EUR 2.65 bn) to date. Q3 EBITDA declined 19% to CHF 137m (EUR 128m), compared to CHF 446m (EUR 416m) in the first nine months, with the latest results adjusted for a provision for an EU competition law investigation.
04.11.2020 [246248-0]
Published on 04.11.2020
Clariant: Neuer Verkaufsversuch für das PigmentgeschäftGerman version of this article...

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