Evonik stakeholder RAG wary of chem acquisitions

22 August 2008 15:55  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The head of Evonik Industries’ majority stakeholder RAG-Stiftung is sceptical about growing the company’s chemicals business through big acquisitions, he said on Friday.


Wilhelm Bonse-Geuking told Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) in an interview that Evonik, which includes the former Degussa specialty chemicals business, was primarily a “chemical story,” the paper said in a press release.


“The future [of Evonik] lies mainly in chemicals,” even though Evonik also held significant positions in real estate and energy, he said.


However, Bonse-Geuking also said he favoured organic growth in chemicals over acquisitions.


We would be skeptical about larger chemical acquisitions, except small deals to round off the portfolio, he said.


Bonse-Geuking also praised outgoing Evonik Industries CEO Werner Muller for his “outstanding performance.“


Muller was released from his contract prematurely as of 31 December at his own request.


He will be succeeded effective January by Evonik Degussa CEO Klaus Engel.


WAZ, citing unidentified company sources, said it learned that Engel would lead both Evonik Industries and Evonik Degussa.


Meanwhile, German commentators said Muller, economics minister under former Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, may have been disappointed after he was not appointed to head RAG-Stiftung.


Evonik Industries owner RAG earlier this year sold a 25.01% stake in the company to CVC Capital Partners for €2.4bn and said it planned to float the company by 2013.


($1 = €0.67)


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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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