Interest in DSM Geleen site businesses

13 February 2008 14:11  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Interest has been shown in DSM's melamine, urea, fertilizer, maleic anhydride and EPDM synthetic rubber businesses but a sale is not expected before the middle of the year, DSM CFO Rolf-Dieter Schwalb said on Wednesday.

Schwalbrefused to comment on whether SABIC was among the companies looking at the melamine and urea operations but said interest had been shown by a number of firms in all the businesses put up for sale last Septemebr.

Organising the sale of the integrated businesses, which are all based at Geleen in the Netherlands, has meant a sale is not expected before the middle of 2008, he said in a telephone interview with ICIS news.

A decision on whether the businesses are to be sold as a whole entity or carved up has not been made.

“For us the divestment is important,” Schwalb said, adding that the company would make a decision on selling as a whole or separately depending on offers. The businesses between them generate an estimated €1.4bn in annual sales.

The divestment is part of DSM vision 2010 strategy which aims to move the company more towards the life sciences and advanced materials.

Managing board chairman Feike Sijbesma said DSM had started looking in September for possible acquisitions and had a clear focus on potential targets..

"You can’t plan when because it generally takes two to tango,” he said at a press conference following publication of the fourth quarter and full year financial results.

“We are searching for opportunities and we will not wait because it’s not the right moment,” he said.

“When they are there or when they are available is unplanned.”

He would not comment directly on the order of magnitude of a possible acquisition but said that lower valuations following the turndown on global stock markets could be beneficial.

Sijbesma said DSM was expecting operating profits for 2008 at a simlar level to the €823m earned in 2007 because of slower growth in western markets, continued high feedstock costs and adverse currency impacts.

DSM shares were trading in Europe down 4.8% at €26.77 at 13:00 GMT.

($1 = €0.63)

By: Lucy Craymer
+44 20 8652 3214

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